Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Asia
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII.  1876–79.
Syria: Jericho
The Good Samaritan
A TRAVELLER fell among the thieves;
He was crushed like autumn leaves:
He was beaten like the sheaves
  Upon the threshing-floor.
There, upon the public way,        5
In the shadowless heat of day,
Bleeding, stripped and bound he lay,
  And seemed to breathe no more.
Void of hope was he, when lo!
On his way to Jericho,        10
Came a priest, serene and slow,
  His journey just begun.
Many a silver bell and gem
Glittered on his harness hem;
Behind him gleamed Jerusalem,        15
  In the unclouded sun.
Broad were his phylacteries
And his calm and holy eyes
Looked above earth’s vanities,
  And gazed upon the sky.        20
He the suffering one descried,
But, with saintly looks of pride,
Passed by on the other side,
  And left him there to die.
Then approached with reverend pace,        25
One of the elected race,
The chosen ministers of grace,
  Who bore the ark of God.
He a Levite and a high
Exemplar of humanity,        30
Likewise passed the sufferer by,
  Even as the dust he trod.
Then came a Samaritan,
A despised, rejected man,
Outlawed by the Jewish ban        35
  As one in bonds to sin.
He beheld the poor man’s need,
Bound his wounds, and with all speed
Set him on his own good steed,
  And brought him to the inn.        40
When our Judge shall reappear
Thinkest thou this man will hear,
“Wherefore didst thou interfere
  With what concerned not thee?”
No! the words of Christ will run,        45
“Whatsoever thou hast done
To this poor and suffering one,
  That hast thou done to me!”

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