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A Listening Ear


The Light of the World  -  William Holman Hunt 



If speaking is silver, then listening is gold. Turkish Proverb




Behold, I stand at the door and knock,

It's barred and bolted fast,

The windows, blind, outface the light,

Day's dark from first to last,

The threshold bears no 'welcome' mat

For he who shrinks inside

Renounces love and laughter

And chooses there to hide.


I know his brow's impaled on thorns,

His limbs crack from the rack,

His pain's the selfsame one as mine,

He's neither purse nor pack

But seeks alone to pay the price

For others' lack of love,

I did it for him long ago

To leave him free to move.


He claims he's Doubting Thomas,

Wants to see my wounded flesh,

Can he not feel it in his own?

Does his heart with mine not mesh?

My will is for his happiness,

His peace, but where it fails

Is in the purblind turning from

The imprint of the nails.


He takes it all upon himself

To put the world to right,

For him, there's no yoke easy,

No burden that is light,

He tows the past, a willing ox,

And shuns his liberty,

But mortal love's not full enough

To brave the green hill's tree.


One day, he'll come to know me

As his own bone and blood,

The shadow and the substance

Of all he would and could,

I tread his path, I know his frame,

There's nothing I condemn,

A glance into my eyes would show

Reflections of his own.


I want to set his soul aflame,

Teach him to sing my song,

To fling his cripple's crutches

In the fire where they belong,

I seek to break the cynic's heart,

Turn water into wine,

Take his mistakes and mend them

And make his troubles mine.


But now he cowers within the pale

Of loneliness and fear,

The world is cold and hostile,

The enemy is near,

I'm ranked with all the others

who put him in the dock,

But I'd transform his night to day

Behold, I stand and knock!


from The Twain, Poems of Earth and Ether


Thy Kingdom Come



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