Poem 127 – When I Came to Babylon

When I came to Babylon,
The city of your kings,
I wondered – no, I marvelled,
At your gold and well-fed springs.
I gazed in awe, distracted,
As I came to beg for the Jews,
For, my sweet Fenena,
I chanced to gaze on you.

Now, child of my captors,
Once you set me free,
And now my people hold you in chains,
The same choice comes down to me.
My dear love, Fenena,
For the love I have for you,
Though it exiles me from my people,
I must release you too.


Dear readers,

Once again, I find that, having been to the opera, I am compelled to share it with you in a series of poems started off with a quotation from the opera, then reflecting upon it. Alas, I really like opera. However, most people like Verdi’s Nabucco, mostly due to this chorus. Which, to be fair, is an excellent reason. This quote comes from a point where the tenor speaks to Fenena, the princess of the Babylonians, of when he first saw her, shortly before he was captured despite being an ambassador. Perhaps these values are anachronistic, but I’m certain that the music is too good for me to care.

Kind regards,

The Hapless Neo-Romantic


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