# 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,
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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