by Rick Brentlinger
(Pace, FL, USA)
Cain killing Abel by Hans Acker, 1441
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,
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