The King In His Throne Room (Lent Poems 30)

Jesus arrives in Jerusalem and enters the Temple. The fig-tree is not in bloom, and the Temple is not in order.

The King in His Throne-Room
He had been here before and found then
What he found now: the defiance of the proud.
He looked for mercy and found sacrifice,
For contrition, found complacency and,
Where worship should have been, he
Found tables dripping with money and
Stained with the blood he saw on the hands
Of the proud, the money-changers, who
Manned these tables. Whip in hand, zeal in
His heart, he – now, as then – tipped them all over,
Burning with all the anger of the king who
Had come to find his lands mismanaged, his
Crown mislaid, his throne in disrepair and
His regent in the bedchamber of his dearest bride.
The king shook the temple’s dust from his feet.
Outside, the fig-tree withered and died.

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