The Shepherdess



The lamb that had my heart drew strangely near
And hid his curly head beneath my shawl.
I laughed: “The camels’ groan doth make thee fear?”
But calm brown eyes on me I sudden saw.
My gaze slipped down, I felt my color rise;
And knew I in that moment that he trod
A path that I would also – I and God.

I saw a vision of a starry main,
A flaming torch that moved at God’s command;
My sons, with his calm eyes, arise to claim
Their kingly portions of the Beulah land.
But in my joy I saw too far, and quick
The jeremiad came to me in whole:
The bitter name of Ramah swept my soul!

As crumpled on the sand I cried aloud,
He swiftly moved to me, and spoke in deep
And tender tones, that wrapped me like a shroud:
“I am thy kinsman, Rachel! Do not weep
And we will to my mother’s tent away.”
I smiled; but tears lay on my lashes still –
I heard my children gasp, and breathe no more.


Jeremy Vogan
Year of our Lord 2019, in the week when third-trimester abortions came to my country
Artwork credit: Jean-Francois Millet

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