The Pearl eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 27 pages of information about The Pearl.

“With Him there is no soon nor late,”
Replied to me that worthy wight;
“True always is His high mandate;
He doth no evil, day nor night. 
Hear Matthew in the mass narrate,
In the Gospel of the God of might,
His parable portrays the state
Of the Kingdom of Heaven, clear as light: 
‘My servants,’ saith He, ’I requite
As a lord who will his vineyard prune;
The season of the year is right,
And labourers must be hired soon.’”

“Right soon the hirelings all may see
How the master with the dawn arose;
To hire his labourers forth went he,
And workmen stout and strong he chose. 
For a penny a day they all agree,
Even as the master doth propose,
They toil and travail lustily,
Prune, bind, and with a ditch enclose. 
Then to the market-place he goes,
And finds men idle at high noon: 
’How can a man stand here who knows
The vineyards should be tilled so soon?’”

“’Soon as day dawned we hither won,
And no man hath our labour sought;
We have been standing since rose the sun
And no one bids us to do aught.’ 
‘Enter my vineyard every one,’
The master answered quick as thought: 
’The work that each by night has done
I will truly pay, withholding naught.’ 
Among the vines they went and wrought,
While morning, noon and afternoon,
More labourers the master brought,
Until the night must gather soon.”

“Soon fell the time of evensong. 
An hour before the sun was set,
He saw more idlers, young and strong;
His voice was sober with regret: 
‘Why stand ye idle all day long?’
‘No man,’ they said, ‘hath hired us yet.’ 
’Go to my vineyard, fear no wrong;
Each man an honest wage shall get.’ 
The day grew dark and darker yet,
“Before the rising of the moon;
The master who would pay his debt,
Bade summon all the hirelings soon.”

X

“The lord soon called his steward:  ’Go
Bring in the men quick as ye may;
Give them the wages that I owe,
And, lest they aught against me say,
Range them along here in a row,
To each alike his penny pay;
Start with the last who standeth low,
And to the first proceed straightway,’
And then the first began to pray,
Complaining they had travailed sore: 
’These wrought but one hour of the day,
We think we should receive the more.’”

“‘More have we served,’ they muttered low,
’Who have endured the long day’s heat,
Than these who not two hours toiled so;
Why should their claim with ours compete?’
Said the master:  ’I pay all I owe;
Friend, no injustice shalt thou meet;
Take that which is thine own and go. 
For a penny we settled in the street;
Why dost thou now for more entreat? 
Thou wast well satisfied before. 
Once made, a bargain is complete;
Why shouldst thou, threatening, ask for more?”

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
The Pearl from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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