The Lotus Planter
by Theodore Tilton
A Brahmin on a lotus pod
Once wrote the holy name of God.
Then, planting it, he asked in prayer
For some new fruit, unknown and fair.
A slave near by, who bore a load,
Fell fainting on the dusty road.
The Brahmin, pitying, straightway ran
And lifted up the fallen man.
The deed scarce done, he looked aghast
At touching one beneath his caste.
Behold! he cried,
I stand unclean:
My hands have clasped the vile and mean!
God saw the shadow on his face,
And wrought a miracle of grace.
The buried seed arose from death,
And bloomed and fruited at His breath.
The stalk bore up a leaf of green,
Whereon these mystic words were seen: --
FIRST COUNT MEN ALL OF EQUAL CASTE;
THEN COUNT THYSELF THE LEAST AND LAST.
The Brahmin, with bewildered brain,
Beheld the will of God writ plain!
Transfigured in a sudden light,
The slave stood sacred in his sight.
Thenceforth within the Brahmin's mind
Abode good will for all mankind.
Source:The Sexton's Tale, And Other Poems.
Sheldon And Company, New York.