V The people would make Him king
“HERE’S of a truth that Prophet of the Lord
Moses foretold should lead the folk like him,
Like him, give bread to spare in the wilderness!”
So spake all they who heard what Christ had
Full well they spake; who knows to open wide
Men’s mouths with hunger, knows straightway
Food that shall animate or fainting flesh,
Or heart sunk low in courage; to give new life
To all the failing goodness of a soul,—
He, Prophet of the World! the One who sees,—
Knows all the needs of men, and ministers!
“This Prophet be our King!” they cry them
Allured by the hope of bread for men spread
As manna in the barren wilderness!
What need to labour? All should sit at ease;
His bread provided, each himself should please!
“Why, what’s a King for but his people’s bread
To furnish, liberal, constant: this is He!
Unwilling, He hangs back, but we are strong,
The many people, sure, may make their King!”
And hot, impetuous, by one impulse moved,
They came perforce to seize and make Him
The disciples stood exultant, from their eyes
Encouragement spake out; all the mad crowd
Knew them supported by these grave good men.
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