Epilogue To The Pastoral Care Of Gregory The Great - Poem by Maurice Riordan
from Old English
Here is the water which the Lord of all
Pledged for the well-being of his people.
He said it was his wish that water
Should flow forever into this world
Out of the minds of generous men,
Those who serve him beneath the sky.
But none should doubt the water’s source
In Heaven, the home of the Holy Ghost.
It is drawn from there by a chosen few
Who make sacred books their study.
They seek out the tidings they contain,
Then spread the word among mankind.
But some retain/withhold it in their hearts.
They never let it pass their lips
Lest it go to waste in the world.
By this means it stays pure and clear,
A pool within each man’s breast.
Others pour it freely over all the land,
Though care must be taken lest it flow
Too loud and fast across the fields,
Transforming them to bogs and fens.
Gather round now with your drinking cups,
Gregory has brought the water to your door.
Fill up, and return again for refills.
If you have come with cups that leak
You must hurry to repair and patch them,
Or else you’ll squander the rarest gift,
And the drink of life will be lost to you.
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