The nursery (the disciple)

The nursery (the disciple)

(The Saviour of the World, Vol II Book III Poem XXXVI)

The babes are left in charge of elder child;

The mother, to and fro, sees all goes well,
Nor looks that any of another tell—

She sees if they be tranquil, good and mild:—

And every place where men together come,

The home, the prison, school, the royal court,
Big factory, college, camp, or ship, or fort,

Now, what is each but just a cottage room—

The babies left in charge of elder child?

The Father of us all goes to and fro;
Needs none to tell Him how his matters go:

He knows the children turbulent and wild,—

But ever saith He to the elder child,

He, scarce less silly than the babes, his care,—
“Lest you should hurt the little ones, beware,

“For very kind must be the elder child!”

“But, Father, see the babes, how silly, they!

“They pluck out hair, and scream and vex my heart,
“They spoil my toys, nor, in my games take part!”

The Father hears his plaint, and yet doth say,
“Now, very kind must be the elder child!”

“Father, thou knowest best; and well for me,

“For Thy sake to endure small-tyrant ways;
“I serve, not seeking love or thanks or praise;

“But sure, their reckless wrong displeaseth Thee?”

“My child, hast yet to learn the secret sure

“Of loving silly sheep for whom I died!
“Loving with love that will not be denied;

“For their sake, not for Mine, shalt thou endure!

“Think on my servant Moses, his great love;

“How with firm hand he ruled; he prayed, he taught;
“And when God’s anger ’gainst the people wrought,

“Cried, ‘Blot me, also, from Thy book above!’

“Know’st thou the brother-secret, all is learned;

“Thou giv’st thy coat, thy cloak, thy strength, thy hope;
“Thou askest nought but for their service, scope;—
“For them, would’st give thy body to be burned!

“This is to love, as I have lovéd thee,
“To see in the unlovely, only Me.”