Weep, weep for those

who do the work of the Lord

with a high look

and a proud heart.

Their voice is lifted up

in the streets, and their cry is heard.

The bruised reed they break

by their great strength, and the smoking flax

they trample.

Weep not for the quenched

(for their God will hear their cry

and the Lord will come to save them)

but weep, weep for the quenchers.

For when the Day of the Lord

is come, and the vales sing

and the hills clap their hands

and the light shines

then their eyes will be opened

on a waste place,


the smoke of the flax bitter

in their nostrils,

their feet pierced

by broken reed-stems . . .

Wood, hay and stubble,

and no grass springing,

and all the birds flown.

Weep, weep for those

who have made a desert

in the name of the Lord.


Evangeline Paterson. Ireland (1928-2000)

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