The desert place

The desert place

Jesus withdraws. Passover at hand.

(The Gospel History, Section 61)

And he saith unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest awhile. For there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. And he took them, and they withdrew in the boat to a desert place apart; to a city called Bethsaida, on the other side of the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. And the people saw them going, and many knew them and they ran there together on foot from all the cities, and outwent them; because they beheld the signs which he did on them that were sick.

The desert place

(The Saviour of the World, Vol III Book IV Poem LVI)

The Lord looked on the Twelve and saw their mood—
Tender of soul and sweet, but sore outworn
With all they’d done and felt these many days:—
“Come ye apart,” saith He, “and rest awhile”:
No leisure had they, not so much as to eat,
For ever-changing crowd hung round the Lord,
Some hung’ring for His word, others agape
For some new wonder, fit to make a tale.
He took them, went before to waterside,
Disciples following: there took He boat
To desert place, Bethsaïda, opposite;
And while they crossed, the men had more to tell
Of this one, that one, had been born again,—
Come forth in tender beauty of new life;
Nay, all their days would they repeat the tale
Remembering some new thing at every telling.

They reached the desert place—and lo, ’twas clothed
With waving grasses, jewell’d with bright flowers!
Each looked on other—saw an image true
Of how those barren lives late had they seen
Sudden transformed to glow of blossoming life:
In silent awe, they mutely praised the Christ,
With eyes acclaimed Him Lord of all men’s souls!

St. Mark vi. 21, 32.
St. Matthew xiv. 13.
St. Luke ix. 10.
St. John vi. 1.

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