# Oh Zealots So Red

"Oh let us be united, arms outreach!"1

You greet me thus? Your greeting only mocks

Your broken state, resounds the wretched bleats

Of pilfered herds forbidden and the flocks2

Of reddled rams3 consigned to death.  See there

Your enemy in chains.4  And yet, this day will bring

For you a broken link,5 for him an heir,6

Nor spare my robe,7 your kingdom, or that king.

Oh Saul, my Saul, if only you had been

More than a donkey-chaser in your eyes,8

You might have lived in full what life can mean.

Now go—and live a life you must despise:

Go wallow in all corporal delight,

Hear songs of love, and poetry recite.9

# Footnotes

1: Saul greets Samuel after the capture of Agag. See I Samuel 15:13.

2: Samuel replies to Saul with rebuke. See I Samuel 15:14.

3: Reddle (sometimes called ruddle) is a powder made of red ochre. It is used to mark sheep. Cf. the extensive use of reddle in Return of the Native.

4: See I Samuel 15:32.

5: See I Samuel 15:24.

6: During the time between his capture and execution, Agag sired a son. See Talmud Bavli Megillah 13a. "...for Saul did not kill Agag, from whom descended Haman, who oppresses the Jews." See also Esther 3:1.

7: See I Samuel 15:27.

8: See I Samuel 15:17. See also I Samuel 9:3.

9: See I Samuel 16:19-23.

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