Beatitude #5: Sonnet: The Merciful

The next Beatitude from the Sermon on the Mount is “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”  The poem these words inspired is an Italian sonnet: 14 lines, iambic pentameter (x/x/x/x/x/), form ABBAABBA CDECDE.

On the ninth line of any Italian sonnet is the turning point, or volta,  which shifts perspective and shows the clear contrast between two different concepts within the poem.  In this case, the beginning of the poem sets the stage for justice, and the volta introduces instead, mercy.


Sonnet: The Merciful

That you had been served wrong, there was no doubt,

For all agreed injustice had been done.

You’d suffered that mistreatment one-on-one,

Offenses marring everything throughout

That time, with never sign of turnabout.

Until that day, observed by everyone,

When tables were reversed, positions spun,

When suddenly you had the greater clout.

But when that day arrived, we watched, confused

As you resolved to not retaliate.

Instead you gave forgiveness, mercy too:

A gift from you, absolving the accused.

This kindness shown, your clemency so great,

Invokes now, grace from Heaven, poured on you.


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