Verse > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow > Complete Poetical Works
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882).  Complete Poetical Works.  1893.
Christus: A Mystery
Part II. The Golden Legend.
III. IV. The Nativity: A Miracle-Play.
VII. Jesus at Play with His Schoolmates
THE SHOWER is over. Let us play,
And make some sparrows out of clay,
  Down by the river’s side.
See, how the stream has overflowed
Its banks, and o’er the meadow road        5
  Is spreading far and wide!
They draw water out of the river by channels, and form little pools. JESUS makes twelve sparrows of clay, and the other boys do the same.
Look! look how prettily I make
These little sparrows by the lake
  Bend down their necks and drink!
Now will I make them sing and soar        10
So far, they shall return no more
  Unto this river’s brink.
That canst thou not! They are but clay,
They cannot sing, nor fly away
  Above the meadow lands!        15
Fly, fly! ye sparrows! you are free!
And while you live, remember me,
  Who made you with my hands.
Here JESUS shall clap his hands, and the sparrows shall fly away, chirruping.
Thou art a sorcerer, I know;
Oft has my mother told me so,        20
  I will not play with thee!
He strikes JESUS in the right side.
Ah, Judas! thou hast smote my side,
And when I shall be crucified,
  There shall I piercèd be!
Here JOSEPH shall come in and say:
Ye wicked boys! why do ye play,
And break the holy Sabbath day?
What, think ye, will your mothers say
  To see you in such plight!
In such a sweat and such a heat,
With all that mud upon your feet!        30
There ’s not a beggar in the street
  Makes such a sorry sight!

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