[Written for the Sentinel]

"Lovest thou me?"

Simon's impetuous heart, unchastened yet,
Oblivious of his intrusted charge,
Could bear no more with inactivity,
Could wait no longer by the darkening shore
For the belovèd Master to appear:
I go a fishing! Yea, we go with thee!
Thomas the doubter, and Nathanael,
Two unnamed, and the sons of Zebedee.
Turned with him to their erst forsaken nets,
Misgivings in their hearts. And it was night!

Dost love me, Simon? Searching question, this,
Thrice spoken on that ne'er forgotten morn
When, wearied and distressed, the seven friends
Had lifted up their eyes and seen the Lord
Upon Tiberias' shore, and, on his word,
Let down their empty nets and gathered in
Their draft of fish, an hundred fifty-three—
They having toiled all night, and nothing caught.

Dost love me?—and, if so, leave not my sheep,
My precious lambs, to stray unshepherded,
Whilst thou, in the dark night of selfish care,
Shalt toil in vain in human ways for gain.
Dost love me more than these? Desert not, then,
That holiest of trusts; but go in faith;
Seek straying sheep; feed little hungry lambs,
And never doubt that from the Father's hand
Shall come sufficient food for them and thee.

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January 12, 1929

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