Foolish Promises

Young girl, she walks the hills
and the secret places in the wastes.

She watches the sun rise and fall

and bathes in the stars silver light.

She weeps in companion’s arms,

taking comfort in their warmth,

for soon she shall pass away.


The warrior king promised The Lord,

“Grant me victory in battle

and I will sacrifice to you

the first thing that greets me

when I return to my home.”


As the warrior rode into battle,

his daughter, the only child

and the king’s most beloved,

waited for her father to return,

eager to wrap him in her arms,

to know he was safe and home again.


And the battle raged and raged,

the ground soaked the blood of soldiers

and the tears of the fallen nation.

The warrior king proclaimed his victory,

standing over the ruin of his enemies.


“Thank you My Lord.” He prayed.

“For surely you were at my side

and delivered my enemies to me.”


The daughter, the most beloved,

saw her father riding towards their home,

worn and weary and scarred, but alive.

Among the music of tamborines

and the voices rejoicing in triumph,

she ran to her father and embraced him.

“Oh father, I’m so glad you’re home.”


And the king pushed his daughter away,

and he howled to the stars above

and to the ever silent moon.

“My child, my child, my most beloved!

You have no idea of what you have just done.”


Promised she was to The Lord for victory,

she must be burnt and sacrificed,

the price for the king’s victory was his only child.


“Father, I know I must perish now,

but grant me time to wander the hills

and smell the salty wind of the sea

and lament in the embrace of companions,

for I shall never marry, nor have a precious child.”


She wandered the hills and saw their wonders

and smelled the salty air by the sea,

felt it’s sting on her tender flesh.

She wept in the arms of her companions

before sleeping, knowing soon she would pass away.


And she returned to her father, as promised,

and she lay down on the wood gathered

and wept not as the flames consumed her,

and the hot wind carried her ashes to Heaven.



(Judges 11, verses 1-40.)

JH
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