A little east of Jordan (59)

Original Text: 
Dickinson Collection, MS 7, Houghton Library, Harvard University Library; facsimile in The Manuscript Books of Emily Dickinson, edited by R. W. Franklin in two volumes (Cambridge, Mass., and London: Belknap Press).
2Evangelists record,
3A gymnast and an angel
4Did wrestle long and hard,
5Till morning touching mountain--
6And Jacob, waxing strong,
7The Angel begged permission
8To breakfast to return.
9"Not so," said cunning Jacob!
10"I will not let thee go
11Except thou bless me"--Stranger!
12The which acceded to,
14"Peniel" hills beyond,
15And the bewildered gymnast
16Found he had worsted God!


1] Cf. Genesis 32: 24-31.
24. And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
25. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.
26. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
27. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.
28. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
29. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.
30. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
31. And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.
Back to Line
13] silver fleeces: the clouds lighted by the rising sun (Genesis 32.31). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1997.
Special Copyright: 

<i>Copyright Permission</i>: by the Curator of Manuscripts and Special Collections, Houghton Library, Harvard University Library.