Friday, November 20, 1998

Jephthah’s Daughter

Judges 11:29-40

I have haggled                                     with Heaven Himself:
He would provide                                victory in battle;
I would pay with that being                 born first in my house,
The one with shimmering eyes            and shining hair,
The quiet goat,                                     grown up in my home,
Again and again,                                  ever the first to greet me.

I have won                                           the wearisome battle,
For this glory                                       I gladly pay.

But oh, my only daughter,                   if I had only known
You were fated                                    first to come,
Meeting me,                                        my girl, with laughter;
Calling out,                                          coming as I came,
Some other promise                             prudence would have had me pray.

Father, forget not your                         promise but fulfill.
Only allow me                                     time up in the hills

To lament (my God!)                           that I will never marry.