One Night With The King: Esther Speaks

This image is in the public domain, from ancient Persia.
This image is in the public domain, from ancient Persia. | Source

The Concubines Talk

One night with the king
Was enough for us all,
One night to remember,
To make us stand tall.

The king gave away
And the king granted favour,
The king held our lives
Like an all-knowing saviour.

The girls dreamed of riches
And wished for gold things,
If the king was well-pleased,
He might even give rings.

When so many women
Compete for his eye
There was no room for error,
No time to try.

This image is in the public domain., from ancient Persia.
This image is in the public domain., from ancient Persia. | Source

Every move must be graceful,
Every blemish erased,
No extra pounds
No lines on our face.

A night with the king
Would make everything right,
This game was for keeps
And the prize was in sight.

When the king called your name,
You had better be ready
To please him and tease him,
And make his world steady.

A night with the king
Was all that you needed,
"A night with the king,"
Was what you pleaded.




"Esther at the Palace Gate" by Botticelli.
"Esther at the Palace Gate" by Botticelli.
Image in the public domain. Painting from ancient Persia.
Image in the public domain. Painting from ancient Persia. | Source
"Esther at the Palace Gate" by Botticelli.
"Esther at the Palace Gate" by Botticelli.

Esther Speaks

One night with the king
Was all that I had
How would I please him
When he seemed so sad?

One night with this man
Who ruled every nation
A tyrant, a monster
His name: devastation.

My God knew my story,
I was here out of place,
A stranger in this land
Of a different race.

But the king: he had called me
He had chosen me now.
I could not escape:
I had to please him somehow.

How could I play
This game of his pleasures,
How could I give in
To his carnal pressures?

Painting from ancient Persia.
Painting from ancient Persia. | Source

So instead of great riches,
I asked for his heart
Instead of seduction,
I gave my best part.

I gave him my wisdom
I gave him my ear
I listened and held him
With a heart that was pure.

My night with the king
Was a night I discovered
He was only a man
Whose needs were uncovered.

I asked not for riches,
I asked not for gold
I asked for nothing
But I gave all: I was bold.

This man had his women,
This man had his own,
Every wish he commanded
Was his, but he was alone.

He needed a real friend
He needed a peer.
This king was surrounded,
But no one was near.

One night with the king
Changed our lives forever.
I gained a friend, a crown
A husband and lover.



Source
Painting in public domain. "Queen Esther," by Edwin Long.
Painting in public domain. "Queen Esther," by Edwin Long. | Source

Background

This poem is based on the story of Queen Esther found in the Scriptures in the Book of Esther. The king was the ruler of Persia (now Iran) and of most of the known world. Like many wealthy, powerful men at the time, he kept a harem of women called concubines who were available for his pleasure and use at any time.

These women lived in luxury and were expected to be ever ready to please the king. If they obtained his favour, they might be given extra trinkets and luxuries. Whatever the king dictated determined their fate.

During this particular time, the king had just recently displaced his former queen for her indiscrete disobedience to him and was now searching for another beautiful woman to replace her. He had snatched up hundreds of virgins from across his kingdom and Esther was one of them. She was of Jewish descent but because of Antisemitism at the time, her family hid her ethnic roots. No one knew she came from these peoples as she entered the royal palace and took her place among the women.

The women were given one year to pamper themselves and get ready to please their master. The woman he chose would become, by marriage, the most powerful woman in the world. It was a coveted position.



Source
This painting is in the public domain. "Esther," by John Everett Millais
This painting is in the public domain. "Esther," by John Everett Millais | Source

Poetic Response to A Novel

This poem is a poetic response to a novel called "Hadassah: One Night With the King," by Tommy Tenny. In this novel, Tenny imagines what it must have been like for Esther and the other women, drawing on his research into Persian customs and practices during this historical period.

He calls it "Hadassah:Night With the KIng" because it focuses on how Esther (also called Hadassah) may have pleased the king: by being the only girl who loves him, instead of wanting something for herself. These particular details fictionalize the details found in the Scriptures but they are feasible. For a more detailed review of this book, see this review from my blog.

My poem imagines what might have been going through the minds of the other girls and of Esther when they were waiting for their time with the monarch. As slaves in status, they had no choice but to sleep with their captor. But how would they approach it, and what would they get out of the situation? Esther decides to go into her night with the king, with love, and her results are far more favourable than anyone imagined.

Historically, Esther later uses her influence with the king to save her nation of Israel from genocide. Jewish people still celebrate her victory with the holiday of Purim.

Source
Source

More by this Author


Comments 40 comments

gailalovesbijou profile image

gailalovesbijou 5 years ago from Wyomissing, PA

What a beautiful and interesting story! It really held my interest; the poems and pictures were captivating. Learning something new every day is what keeps life fresh and fascinating. Thanks for the great hub! Voted up, beautiful, and interesting.


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 5 years ago from Western New York

I have always loved the story of Esther, and your poem is absolutely beautiful - what a great hub!


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada Author

Gaila, thank you! I agree that learning something new definitely keeps life amazing! Take care and thanks again.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada Author

Leah, thank you so much! Her story is so moving, isn't it? Have a wonderful night!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Loved it, prairieprincess. The poetry had my full attention and the explanation was interesting. Rated up and awesome!


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada Author

Denise, you are so kind. I am glad you liked it. Nice to see you!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

I agree with Denise. Loved the poems and the story behind them made the poems even more interesting. I knew the story of Esther from the bible but I didn't know about the novel that fictionalized how her life might have been.

Good luck in the contest.

Voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful and interesting.

BTW: I don't know how you got those decorative page breaks in, but they really enhanced the lay out of your hub. Nice job!


heart4theword profile image

heart4theword 5 years ago from hub

What a brave woman! One of those situations, we in our human and spiritual understanding...don't understand. Yet, Esther because of her willing heart, was able to change history! God does work in Mysterious Ways:) Very well done, I agree:)


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada Author

HBNurse, thank you so much! Yes, it is actually an amazing book or movie, too, if you ever get a chance to read/watch it. The way he describes the lives of these young women, you gain a real understanding for them.

Thanks again for the votes and I wish you the best in the contest, too! I love that we are actually doing a creative topic this time. I'm glad you liked the pictures, too. It was neat finding pictures from that era, approximately.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada Author

Heart4theWord, she certainly was! Imagine being in that circumstance: it would have been so tempting to give up but instead she obeyed God for "such a time as this." Her story is so inspiring. Thanks again for a wonderful comment. Take care!


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

This poem reminded me of the musical play we made on the story of Queen Esther. Thumbs up!


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada Author

Ripplemaker, that would make a great play; it's a very dramatic story. Thanks for the support!


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

I was blown away by this whole presentation. I thought I knew the story well. You are anointed. You made it real.


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 5 years ago

The story of Queen Esther is quite remarkable story, as is the woman. Your interpretation of it is is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

I love the story of Esther and you have told it so well in your poem.

Well set out too, O love the page breaks

Good luck with the contest.

If we don't win anything we have had this pleasure of meeting other wroters.


North Wind profile image

North Wind 5 years ago from The World (for now)

Esther is one of my favorite people in the Bible. I love The Book of Esther and I have seen One Night With The King more than three times. I really enjoyed your poem. You painted the images with your words and I could almost hear the bracelets and trinkets clinking.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada Author

@WD, thank you. Your words are humbling. I am glad to share a story from HIS WORD. There's so much depth in this story. Take care.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada Author

Dee, it is truly an amazing story and she was quite the woman! Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Have a great night!


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada Author

Rose, exactly! It is a great opportunity to meet other writers we might not normally come across. And it's nice to meet you!

I am glad that you liked the poem. I have had this book sitting on my desk for the last couple of weeks and I had thought it was such a neat title and subject for a poem.

Thanks again for dropping by!


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 5 years ago from Templeton, CA

I have always loved the book of Esther, and even wrote a paper on it in college. She certainly is one courageous woman and proved that one person used by God can make a difference. I loved the way your poem showed the difference between Esther and the others in the harem.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada Author

North Wind, it's so nice to hear from someone who has seen the movie. I haven't seen it yet but I would love to. I'm glad this poem did it justice because it's one of the best books I have ever read. Thanks for coming by and commenting!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

I loved the poetry and the explanation of the story of Esther.

Really lovely and further enhanced by the wonderful pictures.

good luck in the contest, voting up, best wishes MM


Keith Matyi profile image

Keith Matyi 5 years ago from Denton, TX

Loved it. You write very eloquently.


inko profile image

inko 5 years ago from Japan

Wow. that was soo good! i love his poem :) thumbs up!!


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada Author

WannaBWriter, that is so interesting that you actually wrote a paper about Esther in college. Her whole story is so fascinating and shows how God uses the most hopeless looking situations and turns them around for his glory. Thanks for the great comment!


dungeonraider profile image

dungeonraider 5 years ago from United States

Very adept poetry, and a professional-looking page.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada Author

@Movie Master, I so much appreciate your feedback and support and respect your opinion. Thanks for the comment!

@Keith, thank you so much for taking the time to read the poem and for your kind words. And nice to "meet" you!

@Inko, thank you so much for reading and for your kind words. Have a wonderful night!


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada Author

Dungeonraider, thank you for such a kind comment! It's neat how this contest has let us "meet" writers here on Hubpages.


thoughthole profile image

thoughthole 5 years ago from Utah

That was fantastic, held my attention completely through. Very well written. Thank you for sharing this piece.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada Author

TH, you are so very kind! Thank you for commenting!


chef-de-jour profile image

chef-de-jour 4 years ago from Wakefield, West Yorkshire,UK

The intrigue, the suspense, the neat way you've formed your quatrains - I didn't know you wrote poems and came across this whilst browsing - delightful.

I knew a little about Esther and her dilemma and now your very readable effort makes it much easier to understand just what was at stake!

I'm reminded of the 1001 Arabian Nights - Scheherazade, another wise woman, keeps inventing stories to avoid her grim fate - a parallel but without the profound moral of the biblical story.

Thanks again.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

Chef-de-jour, such kind words! I am so glad you appreciated the poem, and that is interesting that you saw a connection with the Arabian Nights poems. It was not consciously, but I was trying to get a Middle Eastern feeling to the poem. Thanks so much again. Have a wonderful evening!


wmletters 3 years ago

Previously I had read of the book of Esther as a learning in battle between good and evil. Esther, Mordecai (the Jews)won favor with the King and won. Haman and his ten sons lost and were hanged. Now I have more learning to do, to build and restore the house of the LORD. Thank-you for the poems.

W. Mathias


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 3 years ago from Canada Author

wmletters, thank you so much for the thoughtful comment. This view of the story was new for me, too, and I learned so much from the novel, which I highly recommend. Take care, and have a wonderful evening. Blessings!


wmletters 3 years ago

Thank-you prairieprincess. It is still a great learning for me in the light of the New Testament concerning the Old Testament. The New Nature, the New Birth, into the spirit of man, woman, is what is called the new creation(creature in the KJV 2Cor.5:17). This is when the real spiritual battle begins, along the way we learn what it takes to win when we sumit to the New Birth within. Still learning and I'm glad you are too. GOD bless.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 3 years ago from Canada Author

Wmletters, amen! It is a wonderful life, although very challenging. Blessings to you, my friend!


lissamasters profile image

lissamasters 2 years ago from Massachussetts

I am new to Hub Pages, this is the first poem I read here. That was days ago. I have been back several times, to read again this beautiful, flowing and moving tribute. What a gift you have! Thank you for sharing it!


erorantes profile image

erorantes 2 years ago from Miami Florida

Miss sharely, you did a marvelous. Hub. It is a beautiful article on Ester and the King. Thank you , I like your hub.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada Author

@lissamasters, thank you so much for the lovely comment! I am so, so glad you enjoyed the poem. I do apologize for the late response. I have been quite behind in commenting, while working as a teacher.

It has been a while. Have you been enjoying Hubpages, so far? Take care and have an amazing day!


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada Author

@erorantes....thank you so much for your sweet comment. I am so glad you liked the poem. Have a wonderful day!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working