Sons of Belial

I

  We are old,
  Old as song.
  Before Rome was
  Or Cyrene.
  Mad nights knew us
  And old men's wives.
  We knew who spilled the sacred oil
  For young-gold harlots of the town….
  We knew where the peacocks went
  And the white doe for sacrifice.
II

  We were the Sons of Belial.
  One black night
  Centuries ago
  We beat at a door
  In Gilead….
  We took the Levite's concubine
  We plucked her hands from off the door….
  We choked the cry into her throat
  And stuck the stars among her hair….
  We glimpsed the madly swaying stars
  Between the rhythms of her hair
  And all our mute and separate strings
  Swelled in a raging symphony….
  Our blood sang paeans
  All that night
  Till dawn fell like a wounded swan
  Upon the fields of Gilead.
III

  We are old….
  Old as song….
  We are dumb song.
  (Epics tingled
  In our blood
  When we haled Hypatia
  Over the stones
  In Alexandria.)
  Could we loose
  The wild rhythms clinched in us….
  March in bands of troubadours….
  We would be of gentle mood.
  When Christ healed us
  Who were dumb—
  When he freed our shut-in song—
  We strewed green palms
  At his pale feet…
  We sang hosannas
  In Jerusalem.
  And all our fumbling voices blent
  In a brief white harmony.
  (But a mightier song
  Was in us pent
  When we nailed Christ
  To a four-armed tree.)
IV

  We are young.
  When we rise up with singing roots,
  (Warm rains washing
  Gutters of Berlin
  Where we stamped Rosa… Luxemburg
  On a night in spring.)
  Rhythms skurry in our blood.
  Little nimble rats of song
  In our feet run crazily
  And all is dust… we trample… on.
  Mad nights when we make ritual
  (Feet running before the sleuth-light…
  And the smell of burnt flesh
  By a flame-ringed hut
  In Missouri,
  Sweet as on Rome's pyre….)
  We make ropes do rigadoons
  With copper feet that jig on air….
  We are the Mob….
  Old as song.
  Tyre knew us
  And Israel.

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)
57 Views

Translation

Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • Chinese - Simplified 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • Chinese - Traditional 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Spanish Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • Japanese 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Portuguese Português (Portuguese)
  • German Deutsch (German)
  • Arabic العربية (Arabic)
  • French Français (French)
  • Russian Русский (Russian)
  • Kannada ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • Korean 한국어 (Korean)
  • Hebrew עברית (Hebrew)
  • Ukrainian Український (Ukrainian)
  • Urdu اردو (Urdu)
  • Hungarian Magyar (Hungarian)
  • Hindi मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesian Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italian Italiano (Italian)
  • Tamil தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Turkish Türkçe (Turkish)
  • Telugu తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • Thai ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Vietnamese Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Czech Čeština (Czech)
  • Polish Polski (Polish)
  • Indonesian Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Romanian Românește (Romanian)
  • Dutch Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Greek Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latin Latinum (Latin)
  • Swedish Svenska (Swedish)
  • Danish Dansk (Danish)
  • Finnish Suomi (Finnish)
  • Persian فارسی (Persian)
  • Yiddish ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • Armenian հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norwegian Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English English (English)

Discuss this Lola Ridge poem with the community:

Citation

Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"Sons of Belial" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 22 Oct. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/25924/sons-of-belial>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

Our favorite collection of

Famous Poets

»

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.