“My father’s hired servants
Great plenty and to spare,
While I am perishing for food,
And with the swine do share.
“I well remember father’s
And brother too so kind;
Why did I leave them, here to die,
This poverty to find?
“I am determined what to do;
I will at once arise,
And to my father’s house will go,
And there, with streaming eyes,
“Will say, ’O! father, I have
And wander’d from thee far,
Call me not son, but make me as
Thy hired servants are.”
He rose and wander’d towards his
With grief and tearful eye,
But when he was a great way off,
His father did him spy,
And ran and fell upon his neck,
And kiss’d him o’er and o’er;
Rejoiced that he had found the son,
He thought he’d see no more.
“Go call the neighbours, send the
Of joyful news around,
This son, once dead, now lives again,
Though lost, he now is found.
“Go call my servants, bid them here
The costliest raiment bring;
Bring shoes to put upon his feet,
And on his hand a ring.
“And let us kill the fatted calf,
And all rejoice around;
My son, though dead, now lives again,
Though lost, he now is found.”
[Illustration: Healing the Blind.]
THE TEN VIRGINS.
My kingdom I will liken to
Ten virgins, who to meet
The bridegroom, with their lamps went forth,
With welcome him to greet.
Now five of them were counted wise,
For they provision made,
To fill and trim their lamps by night;
The others no oil had.
The bridegroom tarried very long;
This they did not expect,
Their eyes with watch had heavy grown,
They laid them down and slept.
At midnight a loud cry was heard,
“The bridegroom cometh; go
Ye out to meet him with your lamps,
And to him honour show.”
The virgins rose to trim their lamps;
The wise ones took their light,
The foolish ones who had no oil
Were found in gloomy night.
They said unto the virgins wise,
“Of your oil, give us some;”
They answered, “We have but enough;
But to the city come,
“And buy of oil, and trim your lamps;”
So while they went to buy,
A voice was heard which said aloud,
“The bridegroom draweth nigh.”
Those virgins wise who trimm’d their
Went forth to meet the guest,
And hail’d him with delight, and went
With him into the feast.
The foolish virgins came and knock’d,
Admittance to obtain;
The bridegroom answer’d them, and said.
“Ye cannot entrance gain.