A sinner cannot test his weight
By stepping on God’s awful scale.  
However light, however frail,
His body can’t equilibrate
Against a void of empty air.  
The pressure of his touch will yank,
The balance downward to condemn.  
A clod of clay, he cannot clem
Himself to lesser than a blank.  

But if you were that stealthy wraith,
Avenging angel of the Lord,
Armed even with your flaming sword,
You would be lighter than a breath.  
A shadow is the dearth of light,
And light, in plenitude, can soar,
So shouldn’t absence even more?
In crackling and ecstatic flight
A flame ascends in swirling sparks
To the empyrean, its home,
While bodies made of heavy loam
Will never dance in gleeful arcs.  
How can a mortal weigh his sins
Against a rival’s wickedness,  
To sink the more, and lift the less
In games the higher platform wins?
Can human weakness ever force
Reluctant wretches to submit
To judgment over that dark pit,
The loser damned with no recourse.  

A spider minces on its web,
And counts its weight in strands it spun.  
It doesn’t need comparison
To tell the tautness from the ebb,   
But builders leaning on a wall
They raised can never know its strength
By mortar slathered on its length.  
It will hold up, or they will fall.  
We know our balance from our fate.  
God smites the wicked in their pride,
And for the good He will provide.  
So take your worth from your dire state.  

About this poem

Bildad the Shuhite answers.

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Submitted by DavidPlantinga on May 08, 2022

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:26 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,427
Words 287
Stanzas 3
Stanza Lengths 9, 20, 12

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    "Scales" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 25 Sep. 2023. <>.

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