BARTIMEUS.BE not impatient, Chilion; it is pleasant
|To sit here in the shadow of the walls|
|Under the palms, and hear the hum of bees,|
|And rumor of voices passing to and fro,|
|And drowsy bells of caravans on their way|| 5|
|To Sidon or Damascus. This is still|
|The City of Palms, and yet the walls thou seest|
|Are not the old walls, not the walls where Rahab|
|Hid the two spies, and let them down by cords|
|Out of the window, when the gates were shut,|| 10|
|And it was dark. Those walls were overthrown|
|When Joshuas army shouted, and the priests|
|Blew with their seven trumpets.|
CHILION. When was that?
BARTIMEUS.O my sweet rose of Jericho, I know not.
|Hundreds of years ago. And over there|| 15|
|Beyond the river, the great prophet Elijah|
|Was taken by a whirlwind up to heaven|
|In chariot of fire, with fiery horses.|
|That is the plain of Moab; and beyond it|
|Rise the blue summits of Mount Abarim,|| 20|
|Nebo and Pisgah and Peor, where Moses|
|Died, whom the Lord knew face to face, and whom|
|He buried in a valley, and no man|
|Knows of his sepulchre unto this day.|
CHILION.Would thou couldst see these places, as I see them.
BARTIMEUS.I have not seen a glimmer of the light
|Since thou wast born. I never saw thy face,|
|And yet I seem to see it; and one day|
|Perhaps shall see it; for there is a Prophet|
|In Galilee, the Messiah, the Son of David,|| 30|
|Who heals the blind, if I could only find him.|
|I hear the sound of many feet approaching,|
|And voices, like the murmur of a crowd!|
|What seest thou?|
CHILION. A young man clad in white
|Is coming through the gateway, and a crowd|| 35|
|Of people follow.|
BARTIMEUS. Can it be the Prophet!
|O neighbors, tell me who it is that passes?|
ONE OF THE CROWD.Jesus of Nazareth.
BARTIMEUS, crying. O Son of David!
|Have mercy on me!|
MANY OF THE CROWD. Peace, Blind Bartimeus!
|Do not disturb the Master.|
BARTIMEUS, crying more vehemently. Son of David,
|Have mercy on me!|
ONE OF THE CROWD. See, the Master stops.
|Be of good comfort; rise, He calleth thee!|
BARTIMEUS, casting away his cloak.Chilion! good neighbors! lead me on.
CHRISTUS. What wilt thou
|That I should do to thee?|
BARTIMEUS. Good Lord! my sight
|That I receive my sight!|
CHRISTUS. Receive thy sight!
|Thy faith hath made thee whole!|
THE CROWD. He sees again!
CHRISTUS passes on. The crowd gathers round BARTIMEUS.I see again; but sight bewilders me!
|Like a remembered dream, familiar things|
|Come back to me. I see the tender sky|
|Above me, see the trees, the city walls,|| 50|
|And the old gateway, through whose echoing arch|
|I groped so many years; and you, my neighbors;|
|But know you by your friendly voices only.|
|How beautiful the world is! and how wide!|
|Oh, I am miles away, if I but look!|| 55|
|Where art thou, Chilion?|
CHILION. Father, I am here.
BARTIMEUS.Oh let me gaze upon thy face, dear child!
|For I have only seen thee with my hands!|
|How beautiful thou art! I should have known thee;|
|Thou hast her eyes whom we shall see hereafter!|| 60|
|O God of Abraham! Elion! Adonai!|
|Who art thyself a Father, pardon me|
|If for a moment I have thee postponed|
|To the affections and the thoughts of earth,|
|Thee, and the adoration that I owe thee,|| 65|
|When by thy power alone these darkened eyes|
|Have been unsealed again to see thy light!|