Rage

by Rick Brentlinger
(Pace, FL, USA)

Cain killing Abel by Hans Acker, 1441

Cain killing Abel by Hans Acker, 1441

Cain killing Abel by Hans Acker, 1441
Cain killing Abel by Titian, 1574


Two contrary gentlemen
Along a pathway walked.
The one, his fury evident,
At conversation balked.

His quiet partner, thoughtful,
Yet held his tongue a while;
Till passion’s wrath subsided,
It took another mile.

Again he framed the question,
Again the sharp reply;
And still he did not understand
His brother’s reason why.

Now silence like a funeral shroud
Festooned their gloomy walk;
For two whose filial kinship
The silence seemed to mock.

The brothers wordless, parted,
In one, mad rage still burned;
He swung and missed and swung again,
-His brother’s back was turned.

The bleeding body, lifeless, fell,
The murderer sobbing, fled;
As field birds stilled their happy song
In mourning for the dead.

His family searching, found him there,
And gathered weeping, ‘round;
As God spoke out of heaven,
“His blood cries from the ground!”

Then banished Cain, far eastward fled,
Into the land of Nod;
Away from his dear parents
And from the face of God.

While on a grassy windswept hill
Beneath the sod, alone;
Young Abel sleeps the sleep of death
And Cain comes to atone.

A grieving white-haired figure,
His body stooped with age;
Lies prostrate, weeping, for the dead,
-Repents his murderous rage.



I am an autodidact poet. This poem is a possible outcome of the Cain and Abel story, Genesis 4:1-16. There is no scriptural evidence that Cain repented his sin of murdering his brother Abel.

Pictures courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

1441 stained glass window
by Hans Acker, 1413-1461,
from a photo by Joachim Köhler,
depicts Cain killing Abel.
Ulm Lutheran Cathedral, Ulm, Germany.


Painting is by Titian
(Tiziano Vecellio, 1490-1576),
painted at the end of his life.
Santa Maria della Salute Church,
Venice, Italy.


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