I In a desert place
“COME ye apart to a desert place and rest,”
Saith Christ to His Chosen Twelve, returned to
From wanderings, healings, teachings, manifold.
But, see, the people will not be outdone,
Nor let their Lord, theirs also, out of sight!
They watched Him enter the boat with those, His
Tumultuous, eager, followed they on foot
Round the head of the lake, heedless of noon-day
Crowds gathered to them from the cities round,
And, lo, that desert place the Lord had sought—
Spot lovely and remembered, was’t, perhaps,
For many a prayerful vigil, solitary,—
The crowd, iconoclast, had broke the spell,
Shattered that image of sweet solitude
Which refreshed the Master’s thought! See,
Are there before Him, waiting for His words.
Men of sweet nature, sure, might feel annoy
At such rude trespass on hour set apart
For rest and converse with their chosen friends:
They of sweet nature, aye, but not the Christ:
Tender, He welcomed all those scattered sheep
Having no shepherd; diligently taught
Through the long day things that concerned
Things of the Kingdom which was for each of
They heard with greedy ear: all learned that
That, whoso comes to Christ comes always well;
Never intrudes on secret communings,
Hears words for other ears, presumes on hours
Devoted to great matters; all’s for him,
Poor wretch who has no claim!
A PDF is available here