# Oh Zealots So Red

Evoked by love, the waves caress the beach,1

Erasing from the sand all mortal stain

Of struggle and the bleedings that will reach

It, washed in time by river and by rain.

And that will be our end, to perish here

Among these purple irises in bloom,2

With blood-stained grass to serve us as a bier,

And flowers crushed to be our only tomb.3

And I shall yield my kingdom and my crown—

Yes, I who lost them for a tattered hem—4

And like these iris petals lay me down

For all to pluck, impaled upon a stem,5

As thirsty swords our waning life-force leech,

As paradise regained swells into reach.

# Footnotes

1: Saul addresses his armor-bearer.

2: Mount Gilboa, where Saul died, is the home of a purple Iris called the Gilboa Iris.

3: Only Saul's bones, not his whole body, were buried. See I Samuel 31:12-13.

4: See I Samuel 15:27.

5: See I Samuel 31:4.

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