I once knew a man who thought he was God.
He stood down by the corner of Timmons and Tay,
And he waved to travelers and gave them a nod,
And pointed them to the right way.
Then he held out his hand and asked for a dime
And a moment if they would but stay,
And those who would give him the coin and time
Moved closer to hear what the man had to say.
'My child, ' said he, 'I know not where you go,
Nor to which temptations you'll sway.
I care not whether you look to the skies or below,
Or if you fall to your knees when you pray.
Not what candles you light, not what witches you burn,
Nor the number of heathens you slay,
I have no interest in what verses you learn
Or if you listen to sermon on the Holy Day.'
Then he smiled and winked and beckoned them near,
And upon their shoulders, his hand he would lay,
And he looked in their eyes and a voice met the ear
In a whisper of breezes and ocean spray.
'Just act as though I were watching you,
Not with a record of debts to repay,
But with these eyes that will see everything that you do
And learn from who you are that day:
How you treat others, how you behave,
How you work, and how you play,
Who you condemn, and who you save,
What makes you mourn, and what makes you gay.