I HEARD him preach in Oxford years ago,
A snowy-haired and tender-faced apostle.
I watched the beech against the window blow,
And listened to the throstle.
And still a waving branch to memory brings
Those deepset eyes and drooping lids as pressed
Upon too much by earthly visionings
And wistful for their rest.
Still in the flutings of a thrush will sound
Words that upon us then but lightly fell,
Because they were as simple and profound
As some brief parable
Told by the Master to the hungry folk,
While the disciples murmured, but the foam
Wrote it again on Patmos, and it spoke
Above the rage of Rome.
Back to Katharine Lee Bates