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The Pillars of Samson - a Poem

Updated on September 16, 2017
Jodah profile image

John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded "Poet of the Year 2014" Hubby Awards and has had two poems become songs.

Source

Ann's Challenge

Fellow hubber Ann Carr recently issued the following challenge in her hub Chalk Figure on a Hillside: Base your response on the photo above, 'The Long Man of Wilmington'. You may include the photo if you wish, with suitable attribution, please.

A challenge is designed to test, to dare, to inspire, to enthuse. Get your thinking chapeaux on! Make your fingers dance over the keyboard! Create your best piece of writing yet!

Rules? What rules? Fiction, non-fiction, poetry or prose, just go with the flow!


My favourite Bible story growing up was the tale of Sampson and Delilah (Judges 16). When I saw Ann's photo of The Long Man of Willmington I immediately thought of Samson pushing the pillars of the temple, apart. Therefore, my response to Ann's challenge is this poem "The Pillars of Samson."

I hope you enjoy.

The Ancient 'Long Man of Wilmington', South Downs, Sussex
The Ancient 'Long Man of Wilmington', South Downs, Sussex | Source

The Pillars of Samson

Samson was an Israeli judge

Or so the Bible says,

He exercised great vengeance

On many Philistine heads.


His love fell on Delilah

From the Valley of Sorek,

It would prove to be his downfall

But she was stunning, what the heck!


Samson had the strength of ten,

It instilled respect and fear.

Delilah, though, was bribed with gold

To deceive the one held dear.

She lured Samson into her lair

Through seduction and deceit.

He refused to tell his secret,

But her requests just didn't cease.


Becoming drunk on lust and mead

The secret he did share,

So when he fell into deepest sleep

She shaved off all his hair.


When he awoke his strength was gone.

His struggles were in vain.

They took him from Delilah's bed,

And in a cell, he was detained.


Bound and tortured, whipped and flailed

To kill the prisoner they'd reject.

Samson had his eyes gouged out,

They showed him no respect.


Samson was blind but laboured hard

His job was grinding grain.

But his captors had failed to see

That his hair had grown again.


The Philistines took their prisoner

To the Temple of the Clouds,

For a sacrificial festival.

To parade for heckling crowds.


The Philistines had gathered

To watch the sacrifice

Of this prized Israeli enemy.

Samson would pay the price.


Now his hair had grown back long,

And his strength had since returned.

Samson prayed to his God

With all the wisdom he'd learned.


His hands chained to vast pillars each

Though escape was not his plan.

He pushed them with his mighty strength,

Much more than any man.


The pillars moved, first just an inch,

But then began to fall.

The crowd looked up in mortal shock

As the temple crushed them all.


In this one special selfless act

Samson's final sacrifice,

He killed more of Israel's enemies

Then in all the battles of his life.

Samson prayed to God to return his strength to him, then pushed down the central pillars of the temple, collapsing it on his enemies.
Samson prayed to God to return his strength to him, then pushed down the central pillars of the temple, collapsing it on his enemies. | Source

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    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 7 days ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for that interesting comment, Manatita. Cheers bro.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 7 days ago from london

      Nice! A great story for many of us growing up as christians. We had this in the books, the schools, the comics and the Bible, of course, not to mention movies.

      Yes, a similar kind of build from behind, perhaps, but I see this man as coming to the end of his journey. He is being consoled by a woman. Her breasts are seductive, yes, but the man on her left shows concern as are the people standing in the door way. Just another take, Bro.

      "Reposed in sleep ... or death,

      He paints upon a canvas of sorrow.

      A focus of concern taints his brush,

      Dabbling at the onlookers gaze;

      Calligraphing a maze of awe.

      Captured in this poignant river of solemn attraction,

      Is a long sleep of muscle and dauntless adornment.

      Arise! O my soul! Chisel a path of Light before me,

      Only to illuminate the portals of the Beyond.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks again Flourish. Glad I could capture the essence of the story. You can't blame the woman ....men are weak lol.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 weeks ago from USA

      I don't know all the Bible stories, but I do know this intriguing one. Women always get the blame! Anyway, I love your crafty, succinct description of the story. You are always very clever.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you, Lawrence. That is quite a compliment that I was able to convey the story and hold your attention in this poem. Yes, I always cheered Samson on too.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 6 weeks ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      John

      Very descriptive, I know the story well, yet had to read to the end, you held me there, it was like I was chained to those pillars, and I was cheering Samson on!

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Chris, much appreciated. it is certainly a challenge to try to tell a whole story in a poem. Glad you think I succeeded.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 2 months ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      John, you captured every little point, I do believe. What a demonstration of your word skills. Thanks for sharing this poetry with us.

    • Stephen Austen profile image

      Stephen Austen 2 months ago from Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada

      You're welcome, John.

      I hope that it helps. I tend to try a few words out, and really listen to what I like best. But sometimes, when we're writing, we can miss something. I doubt very much that my own writing is perfect every time!

      P.S. you might get the same comment again, as the first was written without me being properly signed in, so I re-sent it.

      Best wishes, and keep up the great writing!

      Steve

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you, Stephen. When I wrote this I was actually torn between the two. If you think "deepest" is better I will change it. Much appreciated.

    • profile image

      Stephen Austen 2 months ago

      I like this one, John; I would change one word though, if you don't mind me mentioning, as I feel it would flow better:

      "Becoming drunk on lust and mead

      The secret he did share,

      So when he fell into deepest sleep

      She shaved off all his hair."

      I think 'deepest' works better than deep. Just an opinion, though!

      Best wishes,

      Steve

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you, Dianna. Yes, is one of those stories that always stayed with me. Glad I could capture the essence of it in a single poem.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 months ago

      The story of Samson inspires us all. Your version captures the entire book with great flair!

    • profile image

      Tamara Moore 3 months ago

      I forgot to mention, John, that when my children were still in grade school, we had cartoon videos about God and Jesus that they loved to watch over and over, again. They were Biblically correct, too.

      If you write more poems about The Bible, I will hope to be aware of them so I might read them, and perhaps share them with my family.

      Sometimes, for some reason, I miss Notifications of New Hubs written by my fellow Hub-friends...

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you foor that wonderful comment, Tamara. Yes, children need something extra to make the Bible attractive to them. We have or had a picture Bible like a comic book which our children liked to read but it only had a few selected stories in it and wasn't in rhyme of course which as you say is quite unique. As this seems to have proved popular I may write a few more.

    • profile image

      Tamara Moore 3 months ago

      Wow...love this! I have not often come upon rhyming poems about Biblical people, and their experiences. This is fantastic!

      I wish I had seen this when my children were small so that I might read them your poems on The Bible. The reason I like this so much is because it makes reading The Bible fun!

      I have read the entire book of Ecclesiastics to my children in order to get the main point across that "Without God, Everything is Meaningless".

      I also read them the book of Job, and many books from the New Testament, as well.

      I read them the entire series of The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, as they sat on my lap, or snuggled up very close to me, listening in great fascination. (We did miss the book, Prince Caspian, however, in the series).

      Thank you for helping to bring back such lovely and cherished memories for me, John :-) I would not give up these precious times I spent with my children for all the treasures in existence.

      If you create more Rhyming Poems about The Bible and/or its people, please let me know so I do not miss them.

      Again, this is such a fun way to read the great lessons and Truths that God's Holy Word contains.

      Thank you!

      Hugs,

      Tamara

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Mike...you are always encouraging.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello John - I see you were inspired in an epic manner by Ann's challenge. Very interesting response. Yet another making of a children's book.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Devika, I always try to be as diverse as possible with my writing. I always appreciate you reading my hubs and the generosity of your comments.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Your great style in writing surprises me each time. I appreciate your efforts in sharing a new challenge.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you very much, MsDora. I try to make my writing as interesting and diverse as possible. I bore easily myself lol. Thank you for your kind words about how it would be appealing for children especially.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 3 months ago from The Caribbean

      One of the favorite Bible stories in poetry! Do you realize how interesting this would be to kids learning the story, or even to adults who appreciate this interesting form? Well done, Jodah. You excel in so many different styles of writing.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you, Linda. Yes, I am sure everyone saw something different. Glad you enjoyed the poem.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 3 months ago from Washington State, USA

      John, this image did not speak to me of Samson, but I'm glad it gave you that inspiration. Your poem really tells the tale VERY well.

      Bravo!

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you, Ann. It's the Samson was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the photo. Glad you liked the poem.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you, Bill. I always love these challenges. A good way to write something you wouldn't consider otherwise.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 months ago from SW England

      Sorry I'm a bit late getting to this.

      What an interesting slant on the photo, John!

      I love your poem. It tells the story well.

      I'm delighted you responded to my challenge and I thank you.

      Will add the link to my hub now.

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Excellent response, John! The images are sharp and clear, the flow smooth....but then, I expect nothing less from you.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Chitrangada,

      Thank you very much for the generous comment. I enjoy telling a story through verse. Glad you enjoyed this tale.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Interesting story and beautiful poem!

      I like the flow and the narration is excellent as you always do.

      Thanks for sharing this wonderful hub!

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks, Tim. Yes, it is a popular story and has inspired a lot of others based on similar outlines. Glad you enjoyed this.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 3 months ago from Escondido, CA

      Well done Jodah. I enjoyed the poetic verse reminding me of Samson's story. I can see how the image inspired your verse.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Venkat. Glad I could introduce you to the Samson and Delilah story. Thanks for the kind comment.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 3 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very interesting story. It is new for me. You have narrated it so beautifully in the poetic form, meeting the challenge of Ann Carr perfectly. Thanks for it.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Michael you summed up the meaning of the story very effectively. Always good to get your comments.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 3 months ago

      John , out of a real life story, you've created in an awesomely rhyming poetry outcome of life's righteous consequence.

      There is a spiritual assignment to every human ( Samson here ) we receives from the Creator. Samson prospered successfully while in obedience using his secret might. All is changed though when he choses lust over favor with God a fall is imminent.

      Your concluding " final sacrifice" -a moral lesson: victory, when the power of Almighty returns into the obedient heart.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you, John. I don't think there are any winners and losers in this competition though. Just for fun.

    • profile image

      John Ward 3 months ago

      Well done, John, Enjoyable. You have my Vote.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 3 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      Sampson was a studmuffin but a bit of a fool. Is lust directed into a relationship with a pagan woman. I think his parents were enablers also because he asked them to give him this pagan wife and they did it. All that aside, I love the poem.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Hey Clive. Thanks Man.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Hey Clive. Thanks Man.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Mark. . It is a great story. Wow, better than the movie! :)

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Linda. I have ni idea what The Long Man of Willmington really signifies but Samson was the first image I got in my mind when I saw it. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a creative response to Ann's challenge, Jodah. I would never have thought of it on my own, but you're right, the Long Man of Wilmington does look like Samson pushing the pillars of the temple apart!

    • Mark Tulin profile image

      Mark Tulin 3 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      Thanks, John. Better than the movie!

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 3 months ago from Nibiru

      Nice..I Like....

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      I thought you'd be a fan of Samson, Eric. Hope your little boy Gabriel is too :)Yep better hold off with the haircut, don't want you losing strength.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Jo, I appreciate the kind comment. I think Samson may be a story more appealing to boys but glad you enjoyed the poem.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for the constructive comment, Luke. Glad the meter and rhyme scheme worked as I had more trouble with this than most of my poems trying to get it right. Yes, it seems his hair was either in five or seven dreads or braids depending on the various versions. I have seen some amazing feats of strength by present day strong men so I wouldn't discount the possibility that he actually brought the temple down.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Ralph, I actually reread and rewrote this a couple of times to try and get the rhyme scheme correct. I was hoping the story carried it.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for reading this Val. I think the story of Samson is one of those that can be enjoyed by anyone faith or religion aside. There is a lesson to be learned, and I know I liked it as a kid. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Luke Holm profile image

      Luke Holm 3 months ago

      Wow! Great meter and rhyme scheme. I'd forgotten that Samson gained his power back and demolished the temple. What an epic story! Do you think he really had such strength? I heard his hair was locked into 7 dreads, although I don't remember where I heard this, and don't know if it's at all true. Thank you for sharing. I really enjoyed this poem :)

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 3 months ago from Tennessee

      Great poem, but I was never a great fan of the Samson story in the Bible.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I like it! One of my favorite stories also. Reminds me that I need a haircut, but now I will put it off.

    • RJ Schwartz profile image

      Ralph Schwartz 3 months ago from Idaho Falls, Idaho

      Great scheme and your obvious understanding of the story has made this a solid piece. Very nice.

    • ValKaras profile image

      Vladimir Karas 3 months ago from Canada

      John---What a nicely written and also inspiring poem, teaching us how man's dormant power can be brought back even when all odds are against him. I really enjoyed reading it.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you, Marie. Good to get a comment from you.

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 3 months ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      Well written, John. I enjoyed this epic poem of Samson's story.