When I saw her
My sceptered hand shook
Though I threw off Your gaze
My crown, for hennaed eyes
That haunted my sight
In the shuttered cloister
Under cover of royal robes
Undressing another man’s dreams
To perfumed havoc
Pregnant messages in the night

Letting loose the dogs of war
On him whose sole crime
Had been to harbor within his citadel
A wife whose dark beauty
Had caught the wandering eye of a king.

And when they had buried him
A smaller mound grew to cover
Fresh death, there beside child-birthed murder.

Oh God! How the evil grew within
And without! If I had known –
But I knew what silken sheets could not hide
That You in Your majesty would not abide
What men in their deceit contrive

Assasin king, adulterous groom, death-spawned father,
Bearing the crown of his crimes
Like thorns upon an innocent man’s brow
Guilty – Guilty by decree of the Most High!
Oh God! Forgive me!

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! (Psalm 51:1-2, a psalm of David)

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)

And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47)


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