OH ANCIENT KING!! Scenes from the Life of CYRUS the GREAT
poems by rjmendera(c)2013
(from a manuscript begun in 1986)
FORWARD: Most people know the stories of the birth,life and martyrdom of the Palestinian Jesus,but not that of the great warrior King Cyrus the Persian.That a fairly small nation of tribes rose out of the Parsan Valley around 550 BC to conquer the Medic,Lydian and by 539BC,Babylonian Empires can be traced in Isaiah,Jeremias,Esdras and Ezechial;through the greek historian Herodotus as well as other sources.That Cyrus the First(there were at least three kings called Cyrus after him) liberated the Jews held captive in Babylon and generally allowed religious freedom throughout his eventual empire attests to his wisdom and generosity as a ruler.It is still difficult today to imagine all of the Middle East and some of the near Orient governed by one authority.
The many dramatic events in Cyrus‘ life-the revolt against Media, the conquest of Lydia and the famous military stratagem against Babylon, contrast the pacifist ideology of Christ‘s story during the Roman Empire.Cyrus was the embodiment of a Persian legend of a „ruler-sheperd“. In his legend there is the purity not only of a noble campaigner but also of the Persian tribes;their reverence for Nature,their skill as horsemen,their respect for an ancient code of laws—-in direct contrast to the corrupt,city-dwelling Babylonians.
Cyrus was not only the historical saviour of the Jews who allowed them to rebuild their temple in Judea,but he also dealt mercifully with defeated enemies like Croesus the Lydian.
Extant among the remnants of Persias Empire are the grand monuments to his son Darius,and Cyrus‘simple tomb;as well as this direct statement in the Book of Esdras—“and King Cyrus brought forth the vessels of the temple of the Lord,which Nebuchadnessar had taken from Jerusalem.“ rjmendera
PART ONE: YOUTH IN PARSAGARD
EZECHIEL:“and i will set up one Sheperd over them“ chp. 34/23
——————————————Astyages First Dream—————————————-
On the ridge of a cliff one thousand feet up
Stands a stout young boy by a proud white horse.
White clouds drift high across hot desert sands
Green hills,mountains and sun drenched valleys.
The boy spills water onto earth by lifting and
Tilting a small bronze goblet.He speaks to the sky
And rides away recklessly churning a funnel of red-brown dust.
He rests his horse and climbs higher still
To the base of a spring that feeds a clear stream.
From this stream a mist rises up where the water
Rushes and falls on a rock,and by this rock
The boy stoops over cupping his hands
And drinking slowly.When he drinks and stands up
He hears a whisper,the light trickling voice of Anahita!
He mouths her name still standing and listening
He walks in the stream on bare feet,still listening,
Listening,feeling he searches for rocks but finds
Instead treasures jewels at his feet.
But all that is precious he tosses away;opal,
Emerald,silver,jade.Armies stand by to catch
His treasures,whatever he gathers he tosses away
Wherever he walks the rivers give treasures.
Wherever he rides the crops grow green.Now
All of Media runs rich with his wealth,and
The boy is a man,and the people call him „Generous Sheperd“ !!
ISAIAS:“Who has raised up the just one from the east?“
I am a spirit of justice and reason.Mine is an ancient
Voice of empire,the music of hoofbeats,the thunder
Of courage.Men stand in their stirrups to see
My name inscribed upon an obelisk,but i am live!
I breath as a mighty wind upon the mightiest men
I am the blood urge and high minds of Persians
I am the spirit of beasts untamed,of herbs
That heal,of men and women,wherever they are
Who carry themselves without a poor conscience
I ride like a great man upon a fine horse
I sing like a woman who weaves and gives birth
I am the Day‘s sunshining and the Night light‘s fire
By me fountains rise,highways fork,rivers ford
Torrents flow from mountain to valley for the welfare
Of all who greet and preserve me. Oh who shall
Meet me and observe me,she shall be pure,he shall
Be just,him will i praise and exalt on this earth
Her‘s shall be the joy of a family the plain and
Exalted shall stand in one place and rejoice with
Mutual power and wisdom.
Across this earth wild wars are raging,men
Strike like beasts for blood and treasure,but he
Who heeds me tames all demons, him shall i touch
And protect and conceal.
I singe my wings at the altars of Parsa
I stretch my peace over the valleys of Parsa
I wake myself like an unnourished swallow
And contain myself in the mountains of Parsa
I travel,I feed,I bring back fodder
All to the mind of a child of Parsa
Have you heard the music of ancient Persia
Gracing the paths of distant swallows?
So swiftly turns this child towards justice
This son of Cambyses who sleeps on his rug
While a minstrels voice chants from a terrace
„Great were thy ways, oh Achaemenes!“