“That fox”

“That fox”

Answer to Herod’s threats.

(The Gospel History, Section 105)

In that very hour there came certain Pharisees, saying to him, Get thee out, and go hence: for Herod would fain kill thee. And he said unto them, Go and say to that fox, Behold, I cast out devils and perform cures to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I am perfected. Howbeit I must go on my way to-day and to-morrow and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.

“That fox”

(The Saviour of the World, Vol VI Book IV Poem LXI)

As the Lord spake, that self-same hour,

Some Pharisees stood by

To whom news of the court had leaked,

The King’s impatient cry—

“Bring me that Man of Nazareth,

And ye shall see Him die!”

Go, “Get Thee hence,” those friendly men

(Or were they hidden foes?)

Conjured Him, “for King Herod means

To end the earthly woes

Of all disturbers of his peace;

Be not found amongst those!”

The Lord, who knows what is in men

At the crafty Ruler mocks,

Half smiling, in quick insight says,

“Go, tell that cunning fox—

Who dreams his word hath might enough

To move the solid rocks—

“The mountains he perchance may move,

But not by kings’ decrees

Have come to pass the least events

That cause mankind unease;

Though he conceives it is his word

That binds a man or frees.

“He threatens, but secure I go;

To-morrow and to-day,

I cast out devils, sick men cure,

In the accustomed way;

As though for many years ’mongst men

I were constrained to stay.

“Have ye observed a dragon fly

Break from its dingy case,

And, shaking out the crumpled folds,

Rise on its wings of lace?

Thus, on the third day perfected,

My Rising men shall grace.

“To-day, the next, the following day,

I fulfil the decree;

For, Jerusalem, thou mistress hard,

Who killed the prophets, see,

It cannot be, the last of these

Shall perish out of thee!”

St. Luke xiii. 31-33.