The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Esther
… So he bade her claim audience with the king, and intercede for her people and for her country.
Remember, said he, the days of thy humbler fortunes, and how it was my care nurtured thee. Now thou art matched against Aman, that is next to the king’s person; he pleads for our overthrow, and it is thine to plead for our preservation.
Ask aid of the Lord, and seek the king’s audience ….
When the third day came, she laid aside the garb of prayer,✻ and put on all her fine array,
queenly robes that dazzled the eye. One prayer she offered to the God who alone rules, alone can save; then bade two of her waiting-maids bear her company.
On one she leant, as though her dainty form must needs be supported;
the other followed her mistress as train-bearer.
Alluring beauty of flushed cheek and shining eye hid a heart grief-stricken, a heart chilled with an overwhelming fear.
Door after door she passed, till she reached the king’s presence, where he sat on his royal throne, royally clad, amid a glitter of gold and jewels; terrible of mien.
No sooner had he looked up, his fiery glance betraying his angry humour, than the queen swooned away; white went her cheeks, as she leaned her head, fainting, on the maid that stood by.
And now God changed the king’s mood all at once to mildness; he started from his throne in trembling haste, and was fain to hold her in his arms till she came to herself; and still with soothing words he reassured her:
Esther, what is amiss with thee? Were I thy own brother, thou hadst not less cause to fear.
Thy life is safe; to others the law forbids entry, never to thee;
thou hast but to come near, and touch my sceptre.
And with that, for she was voiceless still, he raised his golden sceptre and touched her neck with it; then kissed her, and asked, What, hast thou no word for me?
My lord, she said, the sight of thee overawed me, as if I had seen one of God’s angels; such reverence does thy majesty inspire.
For indeed, my lord, there is nothing about thee but must be admired, nothing in thy looks but is gracious.
Even as she spoke, once again her strength failed her; and she was near to fainting;
the king was all anxiety, and his courtiers must needs come about him, seeking to allay her fears.
The Holy Bible