How bound hands whose gentle sweep
claimed all lands which Marduk had birthed
and brought to bear on rolling sands,
whose bordersí breadth Shapash
could hardly reach before fatigued,
he tumbled into rest
beneath the temple of Tanit?
Why, my god, my lord,
beloved Baal, to whom I fall
in worship like a slave before
the golden pleats of my
own royal robes; Manasseh, great redeemer
of a fatherís thousand follies,
resurrecting your ill felled image,
teaching gold and bronze to rise and burn
where he who spurns your heavenly host
has built his house of heresy.
Why let those dogs of Babylon
throw me with brutal scorn
among the thorns,
then by the nose be led like so much
cattle that Iíve fed to the fire of Molech,
whose thirsty flames have claimed the wax
from bones of my own loins
to this ignoble cell within the
rotting hole of Assyria,
where by my marks the years flirt with a dozen?
Answer me, thou sluggish, silent idol,
Part your muted lips and let slip
A snip, a word, a grunt of timeless wisdom
For your faultless follower who now
Decays from endless days that pass below your watch.