(Balsam- Populus balsamifera)
Love the phrase: ‘Who going through the Valley of Baka maketh
it a well,’ from Psalm 84. It relates to King David fighting the
Philistines in the Rephaim Valley.
I also liked the translation: ‘Valley of Breakthrough.’
There is more detail in 1 Chronicles, chapter 14, where
a previous victory is described. David employs a different
military strategy on the second occasion.
Here’s the poem:
Blessed is the man whose lamentation
is overcome by digging for a well-
even in desert peregrination.
Israel, Judah became one nation
and the Philistines could no longer quell
David’s army. Divine exhortation
inspired a strategic operation
and grasshoppers routed the infidel:
lamentation turned to jubilation.
Baal-Perazim introduced elation,
but now rearguard action relied on smell
from balsam trees and the sussuration
of their leaves. The wind, on this occasion,
convinced those warrior giants by some spell,
or by an auditory sensation
that reinforcements, an augmentation
of David’s troops would bring a living hell.
Blessed is that man, whose lamentation
converts to joy, mid-peregrination.