Una Esclava En Venta

Poem By Iain Mackay

She sits alone amid the milling crowd, head bowed in shame
To hide her burning tears.
A placard round her neck shows age and name:
Rhodon – a rose, and barely eighteen years.

Her long dark tresses falling to her waist,
Her youthful body naked - on display;
The merchant cries, “What price for one so chaste? ”
And likely buyers wonder what to pay.

Sadly she waits for what her fate will be
And from afar I ponder on her grace.
Were she my own then cherished she would be
And kneeling at my feet her proper place,
As trusting slave, her duty to serve me.
What would I give to save her from disgrace –
To make her mine and bind her close to me?

To bind her close so when we are apart
Devotion keeps the image of her clear,
Which shows the strongest ties come from the heart
And loving servitude imports no fear.

(On a painting by Jose Jimenez Aranda with the same title.)

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