The thirsty came

The thirsty came

(The Saviour of the World, Vol V Book III Poem XXIX)

A lad was in the crowd, limp and athirst;

His hollow eyes were fixed on Him who spake:

Of all the words he’d heard, this was the first

Invited him, of life, to come and take:

Ne’er stepping from his place, he came and drank;—

Lo, Life was in the stream, pellucid, through him sank.

A weary man was there, who toiled to get,

With heavy labour, meat for his and him:

So dry he was, so flagging, all things let

And hindered the poor man; his eyes were dim

For very dearth of joy: he heard the word,

And came and drank that water offered of the Lord.

And there, an aged man,—ah, well might he,

Athirst through all his days, lie down and die,

Parched and unsatisfied; what hope might be

That he, old man, should drink and satisfy

That craving, long consumed him? “Come to Me!”

Saith One: unseen, he came, and filled his soul with glee.

And so they came, one here, another there,

A ghostly multitude whom no man saw:

Eager they haste and fearful; they would share

That water, Christ the Lord should gracious draw:

He gave them drink; none saw their lips to move,

Yet each who came went cool’d, sustained, fulfilled with love!

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