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Abigail - "A Kinder, Happier Fate"
by James Vasquez
A woman of more charm and wit,
Than any you might hail,
In Carmel or surrounding towns,
Was beauteous Abigail.
And known as well for wisdom and,
For goodness through and through,
The poor went not away denied,
Her kindness always knew.
Throughout her domicile she reigned,
A queen, as all could tell,
Beloved by servants and by kin,
Revered by them as well.
But sadly she was married to,
A man of foolish ilk,
Who loved his rowdy feasts, his drink,
His garments of fine silk.
And wealth beyond compare he had,
Of sheep and goats no end,
On land extending far beyond,
Where hill and plain did blend.
And why, some asked, did she consent,
This man to call her mate?
For with her charms she merited,
A kinder, happier fate.
And now another virtue I,
Will state that may explain,
Just why she chose to marry him,
And as his wife remain.
A life of earnest faith she led,
In hopes that one day he,
Would waken to the voice of God,
And all his folly see.
And as the years passed slowly by,
And little change she knew,
Her hopes began to dim somewhat,
As hopes denied will do.
And thus resigned, she lived with him,
And often sought excuse,
For boorish actions, drinking and,
She finally wondered if God's plan,
She had misunderstood,
For nothing less did she desire,
And trusted it was good.
But then one day a servant came,
Quite breathlessly to say,
From distant field he came where he,
Was shearing sheep that day,
With Nabal (spouse of Abigail),
When suddenly certain men,
Appeared and asked for food and drink,
And numbered fully ten.
"And these were men from David's camp,"
The servant then affirmed,
"Who in the past our safety had,
Without a loss confirmed.
"But now in need and seeing beasts,
Throughout our master's land,
Had come imploring meekly for,
Whatever was at hand."
"'And who is David,' Nabal said,
'That I should give him food,
And who this son of Jesse now?'
He asked in peevish mood.
"And none among your servants has,
A word to Nabal said,
Or e'er been able to persuade,
This man so poorly bred.
"I greatly fear," the servant said,
"That vengeance now is due,
For surely David will return,
And bring his army, too!"
And quickly, then, did Abigail,
Perceive the peril and,
A gala feast for David was,
Prepared at her command,
Thus wine and bread, and roasted grain,
And sheep well-stuffed and dressed,
And fig and raisin cakes as well,
In truth, all that was best,
She loaded fast upon some mules,
And straightway then set out,
To see if with God's help she might,
Prevent a bloody route.
And this she did in secret for,
If Nabal were aware,
He would have overruled his wife,
And stopped things then and there.
And so it was she met him as,
He led his men astride,
Full bent on taking vengeance for,
His humble plea denied.
And Abigail bowed low in hopes,
This slaughter to deter,
And pleaded that the blame might fall,
Not on her spouse but her.
"I saw them not when they appeared,
Your men so kindly sent,
Had I been there, no doubt, I would,
All that they asked have lent.
"And Nabal as his name implies,
A fool he is at heart.
But let not vengeance guide you now,
Nor ever be your part.
"The Lord has graciously restrained,
Your hand from doing wrong,
And may you ever triumph and,
Proclaim the victor's song.
"Now let this gift, my lord, appease,
Your men who for bloodshed,
Will not bear guilt as in your path,
They turn aside instead.
"And when in time the Lord has done,
All that to you he's vowed,
Remember then, your servant here,
On bended knee and bowed."
And David was quite taken as,
She humbly sought his grace,
Nor was he yet unmindful of,
Her kind and lovely face.
"Now praise to God," he answered her,
"For he has sent you nigh,
And all your people kept this day,
Who were about to die.
"For with four hundred men I thought,
By midnight to arrive,
And truly by dawn's light there'd be,
No male left alive,
"And may God's blessing be on you,
For judgment shown as well,
And thus I've not offended him,
The God of Israel."
And David turned with all his men,
Who that night feasted well,
While Abigail sought out her spouse,
Their perilous state to tell.
She found him feasting and quite drunk,
As in a stupor grand,
And so she waited till the morn,
That he might understand.
And then he heard how David's troop,
Had come to slay the lot,
And how save by his wife's bold plan,
His life would now be naught.
And at these words this churlish man,
Fell straightway to the ground,
His selfish life began to ebb,
And soon no more was found.
Now David waited not the day,
His nation's crown to see,
He sent at once to Abigail,
That she his wife might be.
And all her wealth she shared with him,
As every woman does,
But greater was the wealth she brought,
By who she ever was.
from the February 2004 Edition of the Jewish Magazine