Neighbours’ talk

Neighbours’ talk

The Bread of Life.

(The Gospel History, Section 64)

On the morrow the multitude which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save one, and that Jesus entered not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples went away alone…: when the multitude therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they themselves got into the boats, and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.

Neighbours’ talk

(The Saviour of the World, Vol IV, Book I, Poem VIII)

1st N. I tell you I was there and saw it all,
Ate of the bread and fish, looked on His face
What time He raised His eyes and blessed the meat.

2nd N. Was’t good, that bread and fish, better than most?

1st N. Why, no; ’twas common food like this we eat;
But when a man takes a morsel from God’s hand
He thinks of the Lord, not of that bit or sup;—
Each morsel’s wonderful, imparting life.
I scarce bethought me, erst, how God sustains
And gives their meat to men.

2nd N’Tis so, no doubt;
Kidneys of wheat and beeves and fat of lambs,—
Think’st thou that these He might dispense as free
As yon scant barley bread and sun-dried fish?

1st N. Hadst seen Him raise His eyes and give God thanks,
Thou’dst know that all the world’s wealth is in His hand
To give or to withhold.

2nd NWhy, haste thee, man,
Gather a multitude—Go, seek Him out!
Why languish we on scanty meat and poor
With a King and royal bounty at our door?
Feasts of fat things and wine on the lees are ours
So act we promptly.

1st NSooth, I know not, I,
If good things for their eating He’d bestow
On them who served Him. Not as liberal Lord
Of Feast upstood He there and dealt us bread:—
What matter bread and fish, so He be there,—
He, feast for famished mouths, anhungered souls!

2nd N. Thou’st set thy heart on a man, like silly maid!
Haste thee, help raise a crowd and seek Him out;
Dream thou of Him; we’ll see to tables spread
With fat of the land in all the country-side!

······

Lo, on the morrow, multitudes came forth
To seek the Lord who fed them. No boat was there
But that which brought the disciples; sure, must He
Be still where spread He table of the Lord
For thousands in the waste: impatient, hot,
They go round the water’s head, or snatch at boats,
And find themselves where yestre’en they were fed:—
But they saw not Christ; only the trampled grass
Bore testimony; so took they boats and came
Back to Capernaum, aflame with zeal.

St. John vi. 22, 24.

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