The Vineyard of the Lord

This poem is an interpretation of part of the Bible (Isaiah 5).

About my beloved’s vineyard I will sing
My beloved had prepared everything
He plowed it and removed its rocks
He planted it with choice grape stocks
He built a watchtower in the center
And hewed out a wine vat for the vintner
He looked for a good yield
But wild grapes filled the field

Now those who in Judah abide
For Me and My vineyard decide
What more could I have done?
Why was the crop a wild one?
Now I will take away its hedge
And it will be subject to pillage
And I will break down its wall
And trampled down it will fall
The vineyard I will neither prune nor hoe
And briers and thorns will continue to grow
And the clouds I will command
To rain no rain on the land

Now the house of Israel is the Lord’s vineyard
And Judah was the plant that He did regard
When He looked for justice, bloodshed was all about
When He looked for righteousness, He heard a shout

Woe to those who houses and fields expand
Until there is no more room in the land
And you have to live in solitude
In order not to intrude

Surely, in my hearing the Lord of hosts has sworn
Many large and pleasant houses will be forlorn
The yield of the vineyard is a small amount
And the yield of the seeds one could discount

Woe to those who get up at dawn’s brink
To pursue their fill of strong drink
Who are inflamed by wine all night
And drink until the morning’s light
They listen to the lyre and harp at their feast
But they don’t understand the Lord’s works in the least

My foolish people are exiled and displaced
Their honored men are with hunger faced
Sheol has opened wide its greedy mouth
And the revelers in Jerusalem will go south
The eyes of the proud are humbled
The ambitions of man have tumbled
The Lord in judgment is exalted
The Holy God cannot be faulted
Then lambs will graze in their meadow
And strangers will through the ruins go

Woe to those who pull sin with ropes made of lies
Who haul iniquity with strong cords and ties
“Let us see the work of the Holy One,” they say
“Let the counsel of the Lord God be revealed today”

Woe to those who put wrong for right
Woe to those who call the darkness light
Woe to those who think they are wise
And who are shrewd in their own eyes
Woe to the heroes at drinking wine
They down a strong drink and seem fine
Woe to those who clear the guilty for a bribe
And those who guilt to the innocent ascribe

Their root will turn a rotten gray
Their blossom will even fall away
The Lord of hosts’ law they reject
His word they no longer respect
The Lord’s anger against them was lighted
To strike them down He was incited
The mountains as from an earthquake explode
And their corpses lie as refuse in the road

A signal for distant nations He has decreed
From the ends of the earth they come with speed
None are weary, none are asleep
Each one does the hurried pace keep
Their arrows are sharp, their bows bent
Wheels spin and hooves pound like flint
Like lions they roar and seize their prey
What they carry off none can take away
They will growl over their prey
Like an angry sea on that day
The land is dark and full of distress
Clouds do the light of day depress