Selected Poems

by Frederick George Scott


 

JEHORAM

(2 Chron. xxi.)


 

Not in kings’ chambers
    Make his last bed,
Not with his fathers
    Lay ye the dead:
Reeking from murders,
5
    Leprous and foul,
Give him for mourners
    Vulture and owl.

God set the crown on,
    God made him man,
10
He coaxed the brute up,
    Breaking God’s plan,
Married to murder
    Lusting for lust,
Out went the life-spark
15
    Leaving mere dust.

Through the rich vineyards
    Blows the hot breeze,
Laden with rose-breath
    Noisy with bees;
20
Here where his footsteps
    Blasted the earth,
Justice shall triumph,
    Freedom have birth. [Page 60]

Cleanse ye the throne-room,
25
    Wash the stained crown,
Make straight the scepter,
    Throw the gods down;
From the rich pavements
    Rub each dark blot,
30
Those wildly-staring
    Eyes see you not.

Throw wide the palace,
    Let the sun in,
Let the wind fill it,
35
    Purge out the sin,
Ghosts and all shadows
    Drive far away,
Fill it with bird-songs,
    Flood it with day.
40

Burn the soft couches,
    Throw out the wine,
These turned to devil
    What was divine.
Silence that laughter
45
    Born of the tomb,
It is the death-knell
    Tolling man’s doom.

Rise, slumbering people,
    Cast out the dead,
50
Darkness shall shroud him,
    Earth be his bed,
Till the lean wolf-dogs
    Make him their feast,
Who, though God crowned him,
55
    Chose to be beast. [Page 61]