Hell Hath No Fury: the modern Judith (a poem)

I present a new heroic crown of sonnets. Shoutout to the the fantastic @hanmariams, whose epic patience and wonderful sarcasm provided material and inspiration for this endeavor.


Hell Hath No Fury: the modern Judith

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,
but see her fury rise to greater heights
if your offensive phrases be adorned
with raving, raging, rank religious slights;
for faith to her is not a regal band
upon the brow of temporality,
but rather a dear burden whose demand
has permeated her reality.
And humbly shall she bear this sweetest yoke
from hence until her final earthly day;
but if you should impugn this by a joke,
beware the hellish onslaught on the way.
Give ear to the advice I recommend:
attack her not, unless ye seek your end.

Attack her not, unless ye seek your end;
no preparation shall confer you aid;
or, rather, be prepared to soon attend
your own humiliation by this maid.
From tender age, she found the needed strength
to swim against the secularist tide
and up the Tiber’s stream until, at length,
she found herself upon bar Jonah‘s side.
Her native gold and blue goes not renounced
(except the shade of Luther which remains);
with fealty to the Holy See pronounced,
she left behind the Reformation’s chains.
Thus, she already fought the hoofed and horned;
not all have heeded, be they though forewarned.

Not all have heeded, be they though forewarned,
for from her mother comes cold Viking blood,
and from her father’s line– less to be scorned–
the Conqu’ring Duke who led the Norman flood.
What man would make so bold as to suggest
a fight meant to compel her to agree
with theories that merit only jest?
Who could withstand her warrior pedigree?
Mantilla-veiled with rosary in hand,
she proudly wears the armor of the Lord
and firmly on the rock of Peter stands
while brandishing Paul’s apostolic sword.
While hands of welcome she may often lend,
not all should dare approach her as a friend.

Not all should dare approach her as a friend;
her mind judiciously deliberates
to whom a warm embrace shall she extend,
and whom shall she present the shuttered gates.
Few years have lapsed since she received the Bath
which cleansed her from the stain of Adam’s Fall,
yet she treads further on the narrow path
than many who from birth have known God’s call.
Infantium ex ore, Scripture reads,
perficit Deus laudem— this we know;
her youth within the Church means Christ concedes
the choicest blessings which from heaven flow.
On firm foundation, never shall she shake;
assailing her is gravest a mistake.

Assailing her is gravest a mistake,
for she did not repudiate that Seat
eternally established for our sake
which renders unity with Christ complete.
For she is strengthened by the Polish pope,
that saintly model of virility;
and from the German’s pen, she learned the scope
of wisdom gained from meek docility;
the Argentine instructed her of Love
e’er kind and merciful unto the tomb;
with all the saints who watch her from above,
she fights for silent lives still in the womb.
While angels guarantee her safe repose,
how poor and wretchéd lie her vanquished foes!

How poor and wretchéd lie her vanquished foes
who tempt her with the thoughts of wicked men!
But when the painful blast of schism blows,
she stumbles not into the lion’s den.
At Peter’s side, she marches to the breach;
like Scipio with all the might of Rome
who plundered Hannibal on Zama’s beach
and purified Augustine’s future home,
she resolutely holds the horde at bay
with equal measure charm and sharpest wit:
she briefly smiles, their swinging fists belay;
with pungent phrase, she lands a crippling hit,
and sends them closer to the fiery lake
whene’er a chance her adversaries take.

Whene’er a chance her adversaries take,
she bares their imbecility to all.
Façades of haughty piety will break
and crumble as did Jericho’s famed wall.
Her suitors, of such varied provenance–
mustachioed or clean-shaved as they come–
shall never claim a greater prominence
than when she left them blind and mute and dumb.
For how could one who cannot tell apart
our canon law from Canon of the Mass
hope ever to secure the precious heart
of such a wise, devoted, holy lass?
Their facile taunts shall she with ease dispose;
in tatters does she leave them by her blows.

In tatters does she leave them by her blows;
their stuttering and contradictory
responses, in their hasty mess, expose
their hollow, stubborn claims to victory.
From substantive remarks they quickly fly,
devolving into immature retorts;
attacks ad mulierem go awry
as she presents their words to public courts.
In some, she has awoken strange desire;
in others, she inspires a jealous ploy;
and she remains the object of crazed ire
of some poor girl who loves some stupid boy.
Behind her sweetness waits a hidden sour,
like roses masking thorns beneath the flow’r.

Like roses masking thorns beneath the flow’r
and calling all attention to the bud,
she makes her hateful suitors curse the hour
when all their eager hands are drenched in blood.
Where pain and beauty join in unity,
one notices the latter, not the first;
but out of hiding, with impunity,
the former detonates with frightful burst.
Disarmed by all the splendid sights they saw–
a smirk, a smile, a laugh, a gentle gaze–
our maiden’s foes are paralyzed in awe,
then conquered in a most sarcastic blaze.
Oft, milder souls arise to fight the horde,
like gentle Joan, who learned to draw the sword.

Like gentle Joan, who learned to draw the sword,
she stirs unto the rousing battle-cry;
Vexilla Regis prodeunt toward
that place where smitten adversaries lie.
Aloft, she bears triumphant pennants high
as did the humble Marianne of yore,
not pointing to herself but to the sky,
to where doth reign the King whom saints adore.
Her brilliant banners are of number three–
the first: the Virgin Mother’s fleur-de-lis;
the next: an emblem of the Sacred Tree;
the third: not ombrellino, but crossed keys!
Beneath her gaze, all foes shall learn to cow’r;
in her one finds a latent, savage pow’r.

In her one finds a latent savage pow’r
which strikes the enemy with quick surprise,
and ev’ry challenger shall she devour
’til all potential threats immobilize.
To love another, Proverbs says, does not
mean sparing use of the chastising rod;
and by this love, our girl does as she ought;
and by this love she sees the face of God.
In bondage, all her enemies shall sing
with bitter tears the song of angry men
who shall forever feel the bitter sting
of being made our maiden’s slaves again!
Beware ye the relentless rage outpoured
awakened by devotion to the Lord.

Awakened by the devotion to the Lord,
her heart shall not admit a worldly king,
for there can be no monarch in accord
with peoples who announce, “Let freedom ring!”
Nay, she would rather rally in the streets
than cede her freedom to some earthly sire,
and sooner trade a crown for humble sheets
black as despair and bright red as desire.
“We have no king but Caesar” was once cried
by those who had a pure man sacrificed;
against them, she declares with firmest pride:
“I have one King: my Savior, Jesus Christ!”
Although en masse her enemies conspire,
malicious souls shall feel her ardent ire.

Malicious souls shall feel her ardent ire;
advances unbecoming shan’t impress;
the ravings of the desperate and dire
fall often in an incoherent mess.
It takes a most unique insanity
to wish a life like those of martyr saints,
but quickly fade into inanity
when mothers should deliver their complaints.
Abandon hope, all ye who enter here,
who see her and endeavor at a pass;
now save yourselves sharp pain and tender tear,
ye monarchists who lack your hoped-for class.
How glad is he who captures her desire;
so blesséd is the man who tames that fire

So blesséd is the man who tames that fire;
but whom shall she find worthy of the prize?
He shall not be some poor boy whose desire
arises only through shortsighted eyes.
The lucky man will simply bless the one
who by a Word hath summoned forth all life,
while praising the enfleshed yet Godly Son
who took upon himself our mortal strife;
in union with the Apostolic See,
he gladly hails that sweet, proceeding Love,
that with our heroine eternally
shall he repose in that domain above.
Let all who fail this standard be forewarned:
hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!


Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned;
Attack her not, unless ye seek your end.
Not all have heeded, be they though forewarned;
Not all should dare approach her as a friend.
Assailing her is gravest a mistake;
How poor and wretchéd lie her vanquished foes!
Whene’er a chance her adversaries take,
In tatters does she leave them by her blows,
Like roses masking thorns beneath the flow’r,
Like gentle Joan, who learned to draw the sword,
In her one finds a latent, savage pow’r
Awakened by devotion to the Lord.
Malicious souls shall feel her ardent ire;
So blesséd is the man who tames that fire!

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