The temple called Beautiful

—from “Adventures in Tyndale’s English New Testament

At the ninth hour of prayer
Peter and John, or “Jhon”
as he renders it, ascended
the stairs of the temple
called Beautiful, encountered
there a man halt from the womb.

The man, laid in the porch
of the temple called Beautiful,
desired alms of them about to enter,
alms to anoint the unlevel
walls and floors of the room
that was his body, wasting away.

The entering pair “fastened”
(he says) their eyes on him,
the one asking, and said
“Look on us.” And he did,
he gave heed unto them,
trusting to be their recipient

of something or other.
“Silver and gold have I none,
such as I have give I thee,”
spoke Peter, giving his right hand.
In the name of Jesu he lifted
the lame one onto his ruined feet.

The offered hand retracted,
bearing a weight unused to being
lifted, even as their fastened look
urged the man’s glance forward,
as if tethered or, better, a bungee cord
springing upward in lively retreat.

Immediately his anklebones
received strength. The recipient
was rising up, was soon risen.
He “sprang, stode, and also walked,”
or so it goes in William Tyndale’s
good glad version, robust

words like a jubilant tiding,
fresh-faced for this story.
Walking and leaping and lauding
god, he accompanied the two
in the temple, and held them, healed.
We astonished crowded the gate,

passed through the elaborate
entrance to the temple called Beautiful.
We knew him, and therefore were
all the more sorely amazed.
We followed the praising trio
deep into Solomon’s hall.