The Pearl eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 34 pages of information about The Pearl.

“’What can be more within my gift
Than what I will with mine to do? 
Let not thine eyes to evil shift,
Because I trusty am, and true.’ 
‘Thus I,’ said Christ, ’all men shall sift. 
The last shall be the first of you;
And the first last, however swift,
For many are called, but chosen, few.’ 
And thus poor men may have their due,
That late and little burden bore;
Their work may vanish like the dew,
The mercy of God is much the more.”

“More gladness have I, herewithin,
Of flower of life, and noble name,
Than all men in the world might win,
Who thought their righteous deeds to name. 
Nathless even now did I begin;
To the vineyard as night fell I came,
But my Lord would not account it sin;
He paid my wages without blame. 
Yet others did not fare the same,
Who toiled and travailed there before,
And of their hire might nothing claim,
Perchance shall not for a year more.”

Then more, and openly, I spake: 
“From thy tale no reason can I wring;
God’s righteousness doth ever wake,
Else Holy Writ is a fabled thing. 
From the Psalter one verse let us take,
That may to a point this teaching bring: 
’Thou requitest each for his deed’s sake,
Thou high and all-foreknowing King.’ 
If one man to his work did cling
All day, and thou wert paid before,
Most wage falls to least labouring,
And ever the less receives the more.”


“Of more or less where God doth reign,
There is no chance,” she gently said,
“For, whether large or small his gain,
Here every man alike is paid. 
No niggard churl our High Chieftain,
But lavishly His gifts are made,
Like streams from a moat that flow amain,
Or rushing waves that rise unstayed. 
Free were his pardon whoever prayed
Him who to save man’s soul did vow,
Unstinted his bliss, and undelayed,
For the grace of God is great enow.”

“But now thou wouldst my wit checkmate,
Making my wage as wrong appear;
Thou say’st that I am come too late,
Of so large hire to be worthy here;
Yet sawest thou ever small or great,
Living in prayer and holy fear,
Who did not forfeit at some date
The meed of heaven to merit clear? 
Nay much the rather, year by year,
All bend from right and to evil bow;
Mercy and grace their way must steer,
For the grace of God is great enow.”

“But enow of grace have the innocent
New-born, before the sacred shrine,
They are sealed with water in sacrament,
And thus are brought into the vine. 
Anon the day with darkness blent,
Death by its might makes to decline;
Who wrought no wrong ere hence they went,
The gentle Lord receives, in fine;
They obeyed His will, they bore His sign,
Why should He not their claim allow? 
Yea, and reward them, I opine,
For the grace of God is great enow.”

Project Gutenberg
The Pearl from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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