Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DEBORAH: THE SONG OF DEBORAH, by OLD TESTAMENT BIBLE



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DEBORAH: THE SONG OF DEBORAH, by            
First Line: Deborah sang that day
Subject(s): Deborah (bible); Jews; Mysticism - Judaism; Women In The Bible; Judaism


Deborah sang that day
with Barak son of Avino'am
"of warriors who let their hair grow long
"in Israel
"when armies went to war (bless Yahveh)
"would have kings hear it
"would have chiefs listen
"I who sing to Yahveh
"I to Yahveh
"who play the string for Yahveh
"elohim of Israel
"you Yahveh when you went from Se'ir
"when you marched from Edom's fields
"earth shook
"the sky rained loudly
"loudly the clouds rained water
"hills flowed in front of Yahveh you This-One-of-Sinai
Yahveh elohim of Israel:
"in the days of Shamgar son of Anat
"days of Ya'el
roads were blocked
"travelers would go by winding roads
"arts of war were blocked in Israel
"blocked until you rose
"you Deborah you mother you in Israel
"when they took new gods
"war's meat hanging from the gates who saw a shield then or a spear?
"you 40 thousands in all Israel
"my heart is with the chiefs of Israel
"warriors in Israel (bless Yahveh):
"those who rode there on fine asses
"who sat on silks
"even those who walked the highways hear me hear the cymbals' voices
"between water troughs
"where Yahveh's holy deeds dropped down
"deeds of the warriors in Israel
"who went up to the gates with Yahveh: o stand up stand up Deborah stand up
stand up o sing your song
"Barak step out & take your prisoners:
"when a handful went against great powers
"Yahveh's armies went with me
"against the warriors some summoned from Efrayim roots in Amalek
"will be behind you Binyamin
"with all your troops
"from Makhir chieftains coming down
"others from Zevulun
"carried the warrior's club
"& princes of Issakhar were with Deborah
"were Barak's allies
"sent into the valley at his call:
"& Re'uven your divisions
"mighty heroes in their heads
"why did they sit it out between the sheepfolds
"why did they listen to the shepherds' flutes
"o Re'uven your divisions
"mighty talkers in their heads:
"while Gil'ad stayed put across the Jordan
"& Dan stuck to his ships
"& Asher kept beside the sea shore
"tight in his harbors
"only Zevulun mad to spill his life
"there with Naftali on the rises:
"kings came warring
"warring kings of Canaan
"in Ta'anakh by Megido's waters
"came but carried off no silver
"from the sky the stars fought
"fought with Sisra from their courses
"Kishon Brook has dragged them down
"a brook has mastered them
"you Kishon Brook that crushed strong spirits: then a hammering
"of horses' hoofs in flight
"in galloping
"who galloped faster than his warriors:
"curse Meroz (Yahveh's angel says)
"curse those who live there
"who would not come to Yahveh's aid
"Yahveh's aid against the powers:
"but bless above all women
"Ya'el the wife of Kenite Heber
"more than the women in their tents
"her blessing (sing)

when he asked for water
she gave him milk
she brought it in a deep cup
brought him curds
her hand was on the spike
her right hand on the heavy hammer
she brought it down on Sisra
she smashed his head
she crushed it
struck the spike into his neck
he bent down at her feet he fell
he fell he lay down at her feet
he bent down at her feet he fell
fell where he bent
he bent down at her feet he fell
he lay there ruined

(coda)

through her window Sisra's mother
looks & cries
& through her grill she asks
"why is his chariot
"so late coming
"why is the noise of chariots
"so late
her wisest princess tells her
is even echoing her words
"they must be
"splitting up the spoils
"one or two virgins
"for each man
"a spoil of colored cloth
"for Sisra
"embroidered colors for his spoil
"many clothes around my neck
"for spoil
O Yahveh Yahveh may your enemies
be lost
your lovers like the rising of the sun
in power

& so the land had rest
for forty years


Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA
98368-0271, www.cc.press.org




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