Blake: Naomi Entreating Ruth and Orpah to Return to the Land of
Strange, that there was so much doubt around
despite the pillar of fire, the manna falling
from a cloudless sky; their leader’s obvious calling.
Didn’t they wonder who it was who’d wound
the Red Sea back? Who’d given them firm ground
to exit Egypt? What were they doing stalling?
No wonder he found it so appalling:
after all he’d done, surely they were bound
to be believers? But there are no such signs when Ruth,
despite his absence, decides which way to turn,
choosing his people even though he stays aloof,
pouring her heart out while he by his stern
silence cold-shoulders what she feels as truth.
Not knowing – am I blessed, or cursed, to yearn?
If you have any thoughts on this poem, Tom Vaughan would be
pleased to hear them.