Many are the fools who say that Jesus stood in
His own path and opposed Himself; that He knew not His own mind, and in the
absence of that knowledge confounded Himself.
Many indeed are the owls who know no song unlike
their own hooting.
You and I know the jugglers of words who would
honor only a greater juggler, men who carry their heads in baskets to the
market-place and sell them to the first bidder.
We know the pygmies who abuse the sky-man. And
we know what the weed would say of the oak tree and the cedar.
I pity them that they cannot rise to the heights.
I pity the shrivelling thorn envying the elm
that dares the seasons.
But pity, though enfolded by the regret of all
the angels, can bring them no light.
I know the scarecrow whose rotting garments
flutter in the corn, yet he himself is dead to the corn and to the singing wind.
I know the wingless spider that weaves a net for
all who fly.
I know the crafty, the blowers of horns and the
beaters of drums, who in the abundance of their own noise cannot hear the
skylark nor the east wind in the forest.
I know him who paddles against all streams, but
never finds the source, who runs with all rivers, but never dares to the sea.
I know him who offers his unskilled hands to the
builder of the temple, and when his unskilled hands are rejected, says in the
darkness of his heart, "I will destroy all that shall be builded."
I know all these. They are the men who object
that Jesus said on a certain day, "I bring peace unto you," and on another day,
"I bring a sword."
They cannot understand that in truth He said, "I
bring peace unto men of goodwill, and I lay a sword between him who would peace
and him who would a sword."
They wonder that He who said, "My kingdom is not
of this earth," said also, "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's"; and know
not that if they would indeed be free to enter the kingdom of their passion,
they must not resist the gate-keeper of their necessities. It behooves them
gladly to pay that dole to enter into that city.
There are the men who say, "He preached
tenderness and kindliness and filial love, yet He would not heed His mother and
His brothers when they sought Him in the streets of Jerusalem."
They do not know that His mother and brothers in
their loving fear would have had Him return to the bench of the carpenter,
whereas He was opening our eyes to the dawn of a new day.
His mother and His brothers would have had Him
live in the shadow of death, but He Himself was challenging death upon yonder
hill that He might live in our sleepless memory.
I know these moles that dig paths to nowhere.
Are they not the ones who accuse Jesus of glorifying Himself in that He said to
the multitude, "I am the path and the gate to salvation," and even called
Himself the life and the resurrection.
But Jesus was not claiming more than the month
of May claims in her high tide.
Was He not to tell the shining truth because it
was so shining?
He indeed said that He was the way and the life
and the resurrection of the heart; and I myself as a testimony to His truth.
Do you not remember me, Nicodemus, who believed
in naught but the laws and decrees and was in continual subjection to
And behold me now, a man who walks with life and
laughs with the sun from the first moment it smiles upon the mountain until it
yields itself to bed behind the hills.
Why do you halt before the word salvation? I
myself through Him have attained my salvation.
I care not for what shall befall me tomorrow,
for I know that Jesus quickened my sleep and made my distant dreams my
companions and my road-fellows.
Am I less man because I believe in a greater
The barriers of flesh and bone fell down when
the Poet of Galilee spoke to me; and I was held by a spirit, and was lifted to
the heights, and in midair my wings gathered the song of passion.
And when I dismounted from the wind and in the
Sanhedrim my pinions were shorn, even then my ribs, my featherless wings, kept
and guarded the song. And all the poverties of the lowlands cannot rob me of my
I have said enough. Let the deaf bury the
humming of life in their dead ears. I am content with the sound of His lyre,
which He held and struck while the hands of His body were nailed and bleeding.