Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” Jonah 3:4
He preached to Nineveh’s proud, hardened heart
Both to high and low in station and in rank,
And hearing and humbled they rent garments apart
They fasted in sackcloth, neither feasted nor drank.
The mighty King of Nineveh in ashed humility
Cried out for mercy from Jonah’s God alone.
And hearing his cry, God in mercy received
Forgiving his violence, his prodigal o’erthrown.
For forty days I walked here bewildered
To this wicked, foreign, unwelcoming land,
Having spent mercy’s portion from justice delivered
How forgiven again? How received by his hand?
What king will pay out the forgiveness I seek?
Whose righteousness redeem this rebel become weak?
artwork: Jonah Preaches in Nineveh Gustave Doré (1832-1883)