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Prodigal - Poem by Daniel Partlow

You cannot be my disciple if you do not follow me and bear your cross,
For he who intends to build a tower, sits down first, and counts the cost,

He calculates to see whether he has sufficient funds to finish
Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation his means diminish

He must abandon and all that behold it begin to mock
Saying, This man began to build, but his work is just unfinished schlock.

Or what king, going to make war against another consulteth not before.
Whether he can, with ten thousand, meet the twenty thousand who march against in war.

Or send an ambassador to find the conditions of peace, while the other is yet a great way away.
So likewise, whosoever of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, cannot follow me I say.

Salt is good: but if the salt has lost its savor,
How can you endow it with more flavor?

It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for a pile of dung.
He that hath ears to hear, let him hear – such salt shall be out-flung.

Who of you with a hundred sheep, losing one of them, doth not leave the ninety-nine
Even in the wilderness, and then go after that which is lost, until ye find what is thine?

And when he hath found it, he rejoiced and on his shoulders tossed.
My Friends, rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repent
More than over ninety and nine just persons, which already enjoy divine nepenthe.

What woman having ten pieces of silver, if she loses one,
Will not light a candle, and sweep diligently until her search is done?

And when she hath found it, she calls her all her neighbors
Rejoice with me; for I have found that which I had lost - the value of my labors.

Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repent.
And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them to his father went.

Father, give me my share of the inheritance. And he divided unto them the assets of his estate.
And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and journeyed into a far foreign state.

There he wasted his substance with parties, wine, and riotous life.
And when he had spent all, a mighty famine arose and caused him great strife.

And he went and took employment with a citizen of that land;
And he was sent into his fields to feed the swine by hand.

He hungered and would have filled his belly with the swine husks for no man helped him – not a crumb would share.
And when he came to his senses, he said, My father’s hired servants bowls are filled to the brim – with bread to spare.

Yet, I perish with hunger!
I will arise and go to my father as I did when I was younger.

Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before you, I am undeservant.
Yea, I am not worthy to be called thy son: but make me as one of thy hired servants.

And he arose, and traveling back to his country, came to his father, whom he had missed.
But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him, had compassion, and ran, and hugged and kissed.

Father, I have sinned against you and heaven and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
Bring forth the best robe, a ring, and shoes, all for him to don.

And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
For this my son was lost, and is found. He is alive again my sorrow now I bury.

Now his elder son was in the field and he heard music and dancing.
And he called one of the servants, Why such celebration and prancing?

Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf,
Because he hath received him safe and sound he does rejoice and laugh.

And the brother was angry, and would not go in: therefore his father came out and entreated.
And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, I’ve never cheated.

Neither did I transgress thy commandments nor attempt to debate.
And yet you never gave me so much as a kid, that I might celebrate

But as soon as this thy son was come who left you mindless of his gaffe.
He hath devoured thy living with harlots, yet thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is thine. So, it is right for us to make a joyous sound.
For this, thy brother was dead, but he is alive again; He was lost, and now is found!

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