Poetry of Kansas

Bath-Sheba

How sweetly through the silent pal-
        ace courts
        Comes the sound of the king's harp,
And like the incense of the spike-
        nard
The voice of David praising God
        floats grandly to the stars!
To his shepherd heart an altar
        stands beneath each living tree,
Each plot of grass becomes a holy
        place,
And the wild spaces are Jehova's
        house.
 
Yet, he plans a temple built of
        stone,
Girt round with ivory and inlaid
        with gold;
But says a hand that's greater still
        than his,
Of whom the prophet Nathan hath
        foretold,
Shall raise the temple up, not he,
        the man of many wars,
Not King David of the bloody
        sword.
 
Such strange misgivings trouble me
        of late,
Whether I am indeed the king's
        favorite,
For who can trust a man of many
        loves ?
 
And yet, no kingly whim should
        trouble me,
For this I know, nor need the
        prophet's word:
The thing that moves beneath my
        heart
Is a man child.
Here I create a king!
It matters not if David sing or
        weep,
Whether my lord has any favorite,
What discourse he holds with
       Nathan,
These trivial things
Touch not the Purpose that is in
        my soul.
The music stops. The king comes?
Tell him I am weary and would
        sleep.
 
Why should I bother with the king
        that is?
What I encompass is the king to be,
I hold the fate of Israel !
 
I do not praise God, I contend with
        Him,
Wrestle as Jacob wrestled all night
        long
And take by force the blessing.

__Elizabeth N. Barr.

The High Winds of Home
Elizabeth N. Barr
(Olathe: privately published. 1922)
Pages 37-38

 
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October 30, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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