And now, without further ado…
~ ~ ~
The Calf-Path* * *
by Sam Walter Foss
One day thru the primeval wood
A calf walked home, as good calves should;
But made a trail, all bent askew,
A crooked trail, as all calves do.
Since then 300 years have fled,
And I infer the calf is dead.
* * *
But still, he left behind his trail
And thereby hangs my moral tale.
The trail was taken up next day
By a lone dog that passed that way.
And then, a wise bellweather sheep
Pursued the trail, o’er~vale and steep,
And drew the flock behind him too
As good bellweathers always do.
And from that day, o’er hill and glade
Thru those old woods, a path was made.
* * *
And many men wound in and out,
And dodged, and turned, and bent about,
And uttered words of righteous wrath
Because ’twas such a crooked path,
But still they followed, do not laugh,
The first migrations of that calf.
And thru this winding wood-way stalked
Because he wobbled when he walked.
* * *
This forest path became a lane
That bent, and turned, and turned again.
This crooked lane became a road
Where many a poor horse with his load
Toiled on beneath the burning sun
And traveled some three miles in one.
And thus a century and a half
They trod the footsteps of that calf.
* * *
The years passed on in swiftness fleet,
The road became a village street.
And this, before men were aware,
The city’s crowded thoroughfare.
And soon the central street was this
Of a renowned metropolis.
And men, two centuries and a half
Trod in the footsteps of that calf.
* * *
Each day a 100 thousand route
Followed the zig-zag calf about,
And o’er his crooked journey went
The traffic of a continent.
A 100 thousand men were led
By one calf, near three centuries dead.
They followed still his crooked way
And lost 100 years a day.
For thus such reverence is lent
To well establish precedent.
* * *
A moral lesson this might teach
Were I ordained , and called to preach.
For men are prone to go it blind
Along the calf paths of the mind,
And work away from sun to sun
To do what other men have done.
They follow in the beaten track,
And out, and in, and forth, and back,
And still their devious course pursue
To keep the path that others do.
They keep the path a sacred groove
Along which all their lives they move.
But how the wise old wood gods laugh
Who saw that first primeval calf.
Ah, many things this tale might teach,
But I am not ordained to preach.
* * *
To: Tradition, Scripture and the Church – Pt. 1: “Tradition and Scripture”
The Stronghold of Traditionalism (#propheticresistance)
The Stronghold of Spiritual Eccentricity (#propheticresistance)
My favorite poem, along with John Godfrey Saxe’s The Blind Men and the Elephant (see http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_poems_of_John_Godfrey_Saxe/The_Blind_Men_and_the_Elephant)
Thanks, Tobie. We track well. That is also one of my wife’s and my favorite poems and often say to each other concerning Christ and the Church, “He’s a big elephant!” In the Creative Expressions section of my blog I’ve posted a number of poems that have been significant to me over the years. “The Blind Men and the Elephant” is there, as well as “The Calf-Path”, and a few others. I’m glad we have similar tastes and like spiritual passions!
I would also commend to my readers a piece of creative writing that Tobie did called, “The Last Revival” that draws from a different analogy, but with similar themes (and a better ending!) You can access it here: http://naturalchurch.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/the-last-revival/
Love this poem. Thanks, David.
Glad you enjoyed it Josh.
Let’s keep following the Lamb-path! 🙂
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