The Death of Seneca, c1615, by Peter Paul Rubens

They clep us Creators

A big title for a humble poet

A wordsmith of no means,

No power, nor authority

Save for his borrowed breath


They call us Authors

A big title for a humble heart

That wonders more like a child

At things great and small

Than like a feared begetter


They think us Makers

But ours is a horror tale

A heavy burden, a dreary fate

Work in blood and clay

Dirty work, gritty soil


We are Prisoners

In God’s golden mines

Granted a rare glimpse

Of freedom and eternity,

The pure genius of beauty


We are Hostages to necessity

Ruling over blood & clay

Bound to the works of sin

Unable to escape our predicament

Tormented, pale, trembling


Yet we are charged Conquerors

We sculpt sinful blood and clay

Into its better shape and praise

Teach nature to be tame and

Hide her horror in gilded frames


We know grace like no Other

Having seen the dread and savagery

Of base earth’s malformations

Monstrosities of lechery and sin

And yet touched by divine grace


What Sinner wouldn’t weep

At a redemption undeserved

Yet served with all the glory

Of beauty’s innocent genius

At the Lamb’s Wedding table


What Body would remain

Untouched by such mercy

That like a butterfly

Transforms base appetite

Into its better kindness


And grants poor Beggars

A banquet of unearned repast,

Unlikely heavenly melody

Hovering in bright levity

Above the stench of sin



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