POEMS IN PROSE
2. THE DOER OF GOOD
It was night-time and He was alone.
And He saw afar-off the walls of a round city and went towards the
And when He came near He heard within the city the tread of the
feet of joy, and the laughter of the mouth of gladness and the loud
noise of many lutes. And He knocked at the gate and certain of the
gate-keepers opened to Him.
And He beheld a house that was of marble and had fair pillars of
marble before it. The pillars were hung with garlands, and within
and without there were torches of cedar. And He entered the house.
And when He had passed through the hall of chalcedony and the hall
of jasper, and reached the long hall of feasting, He saw lying on a
couch of sea-purple one whose hair was crowned with red roses and
whose lips were red with wine.
And He went behind him and touched him on the shoulder and said to
him, 'Why do you live like this?'
And the young man turned round and recognised Him, and made answer
and said, 'But I was a leper once, and you healed me. How else
should I live?'
And He passed out of the house and went again into the street.
And after a little while He saw one whose face and raiment were
painted and whose feet were shod with pearls. And behind her came,
slowly as a hunter, a young man who wore a cloak of two colours.
Now the face of the woman was as the fair face of an idol, and the
eyes of the young man were bright with lust.
And He followed swiftly and touched the hand of the young man and
said to him, 'Why do you look at this woman and in such wise?'
And the young man turned round and recognised Him and said, 'But I
was blind once, and you gave me sight. At what else should I