The LORD Has Established Them!

Updated: Sep 29, 2021

How alone sits

the city that never sleeps!

Made like a widow--

mistress of the nations;

ruler of provinces--

Made to pay tribute.

To wee hours, wailing,

snuffled tears, rubbered cheeks.

To comfort her, there is none—

not one of all her darlings.

All her lovers return— turned hostile to her.

Judah left-- lame with welts,

exhausted by subservience --

lived among the nations,

languished without rest. Fists of old friends

outpaced her limp and seized the wheezing opportunity.

Zion’s roads mourn-- because there

are none--- coming to celebrate

all her gates-- demolished

her priests-- wailing

her maidens-- wretched,

she herself-- wrung out like a ready again reek-rag.

She, prostrated as the general stands--

She, rolled as the liaisons loot--

Over her, the LORD has established them-- for her sprawling crimes.

She whimpers tiny fingers— the toddlers led off, slaves and foremen’s faces.

From Zion’s daughter has marched

all her elegance. Her princes-- heavy horned rams

finding no fodder nor moss or stubble-- slipped away like their strength

and their bravado before the gleam and flush of the pursuer’s jangle.

Lamentations 1:1-6 vlg/bti


This poetry is re-raveled from the Book of Lamentations, poetry written after the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem and the Davidic dynasty @586 BC.

But not straight from Lamentations-- the translation started from the Latin Vulgate version. There are textual variations compared with the available Hebrew text, and Latin peculiarities.

And not just sideways from Hebrew to Latin to English-- the poetry attempts the visceral and rhetorical texture of the original. Given the grief, gaudiness and gore, that get's odd.

Even a straight translation is only accurate like an old-fashioned arrow-- building in the bend around the bow for any bull's eye. Not straight, a howling maybe harmony.