On seeing Rembrandt’s “Moses with the Ten Commandments”

“It is not the sound of victory,

it is not the sound of defeat;

it is the sound of singing that I hear.”

 

Descending from smoke-covered mountaintop

Shrouded in shadow and dust, sparks of flame

Eyes burning with hatred.

The dancing, singing, slows – stops.

The sad silence of rebuke falls quickly

And the celebration is become a festival of terror.

His anger consumes the calf,

And the law is broken at the feet

Of the transgressors.

But still – there is love, pain, in the eyes of the father.

He begs for their forgiveness.

He begs to be damned with them.

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