An Evangelist's Wife

“Why am I not myself these many days,
You ask? And have you nothing more to ask?
I do you wrong? I do not hear your praise
To God for giving you me to share your task?

“Jealous—of Her? Because her cheeks are pink,
And she has eyes? No, not if she had seven.
If you should only steal an hour to think,
Sometime, there might be less to be forgiven.

“No, you are never cruel. If once or twice
I found you so, I could applaud and sing.
Jealous of—What? You are not very wise.
Does not the good Book tell you anything?

“In David’s time poor Michal had to go.
Jealous of God? Well, if you like it so.”

by Edwin Arlington Robinson

Comments (1)

A bitingly brilliant poem by E.A. I not only admire the form of this work, but the substance as well. Ironic that the Bible informs us that God is love (I John 4: 8) , but the evangelist could not spare any of that love for his wife. He became straight-jacketed by the madness of self-righteousness, striving for the justification of others in Heaven, while condemning his wife to her own lonesome.