Seaside at Saint Maries, by Vincent van Gogh
Don't boast, you judges, that you no longer torture
or clamp an iron collar 'round the neck.
Though the mercy we long for
may rearrange your features
and the scaffold fall into disuse
like an outgrown toy,
no one is better off.
The god of true mercy would step differently
into the undefended heart.
He would enter with radiance
the way gods do, strong as the sea wind
for treasure-bearing ships, and claim us lightly
as the child of an infinite union
absorbed in play.
Sonnet to Orpheus II, 9