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At His Feet
A baby lay at her father’s feet,
An ancient custom now obsolete
Where fathers chose to spurn or to keep
Their babbling baby placed at their feet.
He looked at her nose and toes so sweet,
Her almond skin, hair and tiny feet.
His heart warmed within, he knew down deep,
His babbling baby he had to keep.
And though but the second century,
Back when males, only, were thought complete,
His sons, it showed, could never compete.
His heart was hers, merry and petite.
And though girls could only be helpmeets,
His little girl learnt Latin and Greek
And stylus etchings, measured and neat,
That baby that had laid at his feet.
And his gods he taught her to believe,
Taught her there are many deities.
Roman gods he taught her to entreat.
Angry, jealous, they must be appeased.
But, when grown, while her baby did sleep,
Pondering gods he’d taught her to believe,
Gods that battled and bickered and bleat,
Said, “I can’t serve the gods you believe.”
The father’s eyes swelled with disbelief,
As she said, “God doesn’t lie and cheat.
He’s one. He’s holy. This I believe.
I serve Jesus. He’s the one you should seek.”
Her eyes, that had won him at his feet,
Troubled him greatly and prickling heat
Ran over his skin, his spine concrete,
Saddened, the first time they’d disagreed.
Said he, voice soft as they disagreed,
“Our Roman gods you must not delete
For an edict forbids you to leave.
You must praise the emperor and him seek.
For converts to Christianity,
And those not willing to bend their knee,
Shall suffer prison and be ill-treat
By a gladiator or wild beast.”
And he was right, she was soon browbeat,
Placed in a dungeon below his feet.
Darkness, torment, chains and stifling heat,
Her baby gone, oh how she did weep.
He came often, groveling at her feet,
To release her from her new beliefs,
But she stayed strong as a sailor’s fleet,
Though her heart felt dead as icy sleet.
He said, while pleading beside her knee,
“You’re one of Tunisia’s elite.
You may indulge in dancing and fine meats,
Jewels, slaves and the softest of fleece.”
She said through tears, as her eyes did weep,
“Why speak to me of those worldly treats?
I have found the God who never sleeps.
He never stops caring for his sheep.”
Then, voice hardened, he rose to his feet.
He said, “Then, child, you do it for me.
I am one of Tunisia’s elite,
And I chose you while laid at my feet.”
Taking his hand, kneeling at his feet,
She cried, “We don’t have to disagree.
Father, come and join my new beliefs.
I’m now the one who begs at your feet.”
But she was brought to the emperor’s suite
And he said with eyes full of conceit,
“Bow down low and worship at my feet.
Recant your faith or you’ll be mistreat.
But she refused to bow at his feet
Though he struck her father on his knees.
“What thanks is this?” her father repeat,
This one I chose whilst laid at my feet?”
Then, her day of death came with drumbeat
That thumped at the rate of her heartbeat.
No longer loved by her father sweet,
The one who had chose her at his feet.
Eyes heavenward, she said, “I beseech.
“Turn him away from gods he believes.
Show him You are the one he should seek
Choose him to lay prostrate at Your feet.”
Then, her hands raised, it was bittersweet,
Wild beasts tore at her with their sharp teeth.
Her eyes were stained with tear drops replete,
But she knew she would not be defeat.
For her new Father she knew she’d meet,
Beyond the sun, the clouds and blue sheet,
A perfect father who always keeps
His chosen ones, prostrate at His feet.
About this poem
This poem is about, Perpetua, a woman who lost her life because she would not worship the Roman emperor.
Written on December 14, 2022
Submitted by tanyas.74554 on December 13, 2022
- 3:44 min read
- 65 Views
|Scheme||AABA AABB CAAA DEAA FDAX BFAF XAFE AAAG GAFE CCAX AAAB ADAA CADD BDDB ACAA ACDA AAAA ADAA AAAA XDEA AXAA AADA|
|Closest metre||Iambic pentameter|
|Stanza Lengths||4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4|
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"At His Feet" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 27 Mar. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/147733/at-his-feet>.
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