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Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Christus: A Mystery

A ROOM IN THE FARM-HOUSE

GOTTLIEB.
It is decided!  For many days,
And nights as many, we have had
A nameless terror in our breast,
Making us timid, and afraid
Of God, and his mysterious ways!
We have been sorrowful and sad;
Much have we suffered, much have prayed
That He would lead us as is best,
And show us what his will required.
It is decided; and we give
Our child, O Prince, that you may live!

URSULA.
It is of God.  He has inspired
This purpose in her: and through pain,
Out of a world of sin and woe,
He takes her to Himself again.
The mother's heart resists no longer;
With the Angel of the Lord in vain
It wrestled, for he was the stronger.

GOTTLIEB.
As Abraham offered long ago
His son unto the Lord, and even
The Everlasting Father in heaven
Gave his, as a lamb unto the slaughter,
So do I offer up my daughter!

URSULA hides her face.

ELSIE.
     My life is little,
     Only a cup of water,
     But pure and limpid.
     Take it, O my Prince!
     Let it refresh you,
     Let it restore you.
     It is given willingly,
     It is given freely;
     May God bless the gift!

PRINCE HENRY,
And the giver!

GOTTLIEB.
Amen!

PRINCE HENRY.
I accept it!

GOTTLIEB.
Where are the children?

URSULA.
They are already asleep.

GOTTLIEB.
What if they were dead?