By S M Chen, May 23, 2017     “The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.” Anonymous

A mountain of a man, I’d say,

Like the mountain on which he stood.

For forty days, two times a day

He dared to fight us if we would.


A freak of nature, if such be.

He stood six cubits and a span.

As sturdy as an oak was he;

More like a tree, it seemed, than man.


I recalled the lion and bear

That I’d pursued and smote to death.

Of danger I was well aware

But took my lamb and took their breath.


Our king did not want me to fight.

He said, “Thou art a youth, and he

Is man of war and man of might.

I fear for us; I fear for thee.”


But then relented and said, “Go

And God be with you.”  He then gave

Me armor that was his, and so

I hoped that my life it might save.


I put his helmet on my head

And donned the coat of mail of Saul.

But they didn’t feel right, so instead

No armor would I wear at all.


I bent a knee; I flexed a hip.

I chose five stones from nearby brook.

I put them in my shepherd’s scrip,

In hand my staff and sling I took.


Did I feel fear?  I cannot say.

I don’t recall the way I felt.

I think it may have been this way:

With harder things I thought I’d dealt.


So toward the tree I quickly ran.

I was alone; but they were two.

Before Goliath was a man

Who bore a shield, as bearers do.


He seemed insulted by my youth.

He cursed behind the man of shield.

He said he’d feed me, this forsooth,

To birds of air and beasts of field.


Those words of his I couldn’t abide;

Within me something then awoke:

A righteous rage I could not hide.

I couldn’t contain myself; I spoke.


I don’t regret the words I said.

I told him then, I told him there

Whose carcass it would be that fed

The beasts of field and birds of air.


I went toward him and slid a stone

Into the pouch of trusty sling.

It was the hardest stone I’ve thrown;

I put my might behind the thing.


I said a prayer as I let fly

That God would guide the path stone took.

It landed just above his eye.

As he fell down, methinks earth shook.


The Philistines, their hero dead,

Put down their arms and ran away.

I knew that, even as they fled,

They’d live to fight another day.

David and Goliath.  Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. 1599.  In public domain.


I think back on that special day,

A day that dims in memory.

Though I grow old, I yet can say:

The Lord is good; O taste and see.


S M Chen lives and writes in California.

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