‘Jacob Recalls the Fight at Peniel’ by John Paisley

‘Jacob Wrestling with the Angel’, by Don Saco

Upon that night the others were away –
Wives, children, all the troubled world
And I was there alone and quiet until he came
Unheralded, mysterious. As one awaking from a dream
I knew, at first, only that I struggled, then slowly
Grew aware of my antagonist, a dark one
Naked to the waist with gleaming skin,
With well-proportioned form. Then when his face
Came near, I saw his bright and piercing eyes,
A brow majestic crowned with flying hair.

All night I wrestled with him on my bed of earth
And stronger were his limbs than any man’s.
And as we twisted, muscles growing taut
And bodies seeping, his breath was hot, his touch
Like fire, a torment. He closed about me like
A night with clouds, and at the bottom of a
Dizzy gulf he wounded me.

………………………………………I fought him
With super-human strength, instinctively,
Nor could I tell if it was fear or hope
That drove me on. He seemed to hold me in
His power, yet overcame me not. Then as the light
Began to glimmer in the east he bore me upwards
As an eagle bears her young and all the earth
Fell reeling far beneath and as we rose
The air was parting. And there he left me, lonely
On a crag, to vanish nameless.

………………………………………But when the risen
Sun had turned the rocks to gold and earth
To green, it shone at last on me. I found
Both joy and pain and could not separate
The two, yet humbly thanked him for a prize
Worth wrestling for on any night;
All nights ’till break of day.

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