# Oh Zealots So Red

So long a night, I scarce recall the days1

Before ambition seized my widowed heart.

Yes, open, lord, my lips; I'll tell your praise.2

A girl of seven years can play this part.3

Remember, husband-king, the vow you made

Before we wed: "Your son will reign," you said,4

"When, with my fathers, I at last am laid

Forever in my shroud and cedar bed."

Now may you live forever, O my lord.

Now crown my son and seat him on your chair,

Your red-eyed wife and nation have implored.

While still your life hangs by its brittle hair,5

Let only these two thoughts your mind allow:

Of cedar paneled chambers,6 and the vow.

# Footnotes

1: Bathsheba's inner thoughts are in italics.

2: See Psalms 51:15. Bathsheba considers the verse quite differently from the way David did.

3: The name Bathsheba means "seven year old girl" in Hebrew.

4: See I Kings 1:17.

5: Brittle hair, cold intolerance and mental clouding are symptoms of end-stage hypothyroidism, a possible cause of David's death.

6: In the Bronze Age, some royalty were buried in cedar coffins.

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