Invitation to the Table
Away, away! all you who stand erect,
And you who lift your forehead to the clouds;
And all who are with golden rings bedecked,
And in fine linens wrapped, as white as shrouds;
And you who healthy are, and wise, and strong,
Who have full-stuffed with minted coin your purse,
You are not welcome here, howe'er so long
You thumb your ros'ry or bejewel your hearse;
Get hence! your fond excesses all are wrong,
Your feigned good deeds and penances are worse.
Feigned-free, you 're slaves; feigned-blest, you are a curse.
But come, stooped-over, come grotesque and maimed;
All naked, come, and halt and blind and poor;
Come, feast, who guilty are, and pale-ashamed,
And covered with full many an oozing sore.
You will not stain this table with your slime
Nor turn the cup to salt with bitter tears,
Convicted though you be of many a crime,
And tortured by grim-stalking doubts and fears, â€“
You are welcome here, who've squandered all your time,
And left your whole estate in sad arrears!
Come, enemies, come â€“ and leave God's choicest dears.
Here richest wine from Eshcol's cluster flows,
And dainty angels' food down-dropped from heaven
Full thick upon the family table strows
The Father â€“ honied dew wherein's no leaven.
The thirsty here may drink full deep, who hath
No money in his hand, and find rich food;
But he will find a foaming cup of wrath
Who dare to offer but a penny would.
No manna will he taste, but coursest chaff,
Who yearns and sighs for this world's galling good.
Thrice woe! if you so scorn the Savior's blood.