Littell's Living Age/Volume 125/Issue 1611/Passing By



"And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by."

O rich man, from your happy door,
Seeing the old, the sick, the poor.
Who ask for nothing, scarcely weep.
To whom even heaven means only sleep;
While you, given good things without measure,
Sometimes can hardly sleep for pleasure;
Let not the blessed moment fly:
Jesus of Nazareth passes by.

Is there a sinner, tired of sin,
Longing a new life to begin?
But all the gates of help are shut,
And all the words of love are mute;
Earth's best joys sere, like burnt- up grass,
And even the very heavens as brass;
Turn not away so pitilessly —
Jesus of Nazareth passes by.

Self-hardened man, of smooth, bland smile;
Woman, with heart like desert isle
Set in the sea of household love.
Whom nothing save "the world" can move;
At your white lie, your sneering speech.
Your backward thrust no sword can reach.
Look, your child lifts a wondering eye —
Jesus of Nazareth passes by.
Oh, all ye foolish ones, who feel
A sudden doubt, like piercing steel.
When your dead hearts within you burn.
And conscience sighs, "Return, return."
Why let ye the sweet impulse fleet,
Love's wave wash back from your tired feet —
Knowing not Him who came so nigh —
Jesus of Nazareth passing by?

He must not pass! Hold Him secure;
In likeness of His helpless poor;
Of many a sick soul, sin-beguiled;
In innocent face of little child;
Clasp Him — quite certain it is He —
In every form of misery;
And when thou meet'st Him up on high.
Be sure He will not pass thee by.

Good Words.