(Jenny Kaufmann ’19 wrote this poem with inspiration from the Book of Esther.)

 

Akhashverosh, my husband,

Thou shalt not conquer me,

Though Persia be thy kingdom

From citadel to sea.

I am no songbird cagéd,

No treasure to display;

I shall not heed thy summons,

In me thou dost not reign.

 

Remember when thou woo’d me?

How foolish was I then,

A lovely satrap’s daughter

Who had her choice of men.

O, would that I had chosen

The humble soldier’s hand—

But he brought me only lilies;

Pale beside thy riches grand.

 

Now, boasting of my beauty,

Thy complexion pink with wine,

Thou wouldst make of thy wife and queen

Some wretched concubine!

I would not deign for any price

To show myself undress’d;

To be thy vulgar ornament,

To thrill thy drunken guests.

 

And know I as I speak this,

That thou shalt banish me—

A woman who doth not submit

Cannot remain thy queen.

Akhashverosh, I curse thee:

‘Tis in divine hand writ

That there shall come a woman

To whom thou shalt submit.

 

 

 

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