THE ONE LOAF.

____

1 Cor. 10:17.

THE twilight hour, when all the world doth dream, I stand amid
The ripening grain, that ripples, like the bosom of a lake
Beneath the evening breeze. I pluck, and idly hold within
My hand, one golden ear, the while in swift succession pass
Strange visions of the olden time: I see a threshing-floor,—
The wheat by wooden flail bereft of chaff and shining husk.
The scene is changed: I see a woman grinding at a mill,—
Between the upper and the nether stones the grain is crushed
Until no semblance of its former state remains, but each
Is merged into one common whole,—a coarse and homely meal.
Another picture,—mixed with water and with salt, a loaf,
Or flattened cake, is formed and laid upon the glowing coals.

And as I gaze my thoughts are lifted to a higher plane;
I see “the members of His body,” like the golden grain,

Denuded of their glittering robes of earthly pride and fame;
The upper and the nether stones of life’s vicissitudes
Are slowly, surely, grinding rich and poor, the high, the low,
Into one common-union,—heart and mind, and zeal and love;
With purifying salt, life-giving water of the Word,
The mass is being drawn and held and moulded in “one loaf.”

Ah, then, beloved, when we drink of that memorial cup,
And eat the symbol of His flesh, let us partake with joy,
Nor marvel if we need that strange, transforming power of fire,
Ere we are counted worthy to be like our Lord and Head,
And “broken” that a hungry, fainting, dying world be fed!

POEMS OF DAWN, 1915

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