Wonderful Child, The - Part 3

Now it chanced that eve by his father's door,
Judas was counting his earnings o'er:
Of iron and bronze coins there were many,
Of silver pieces he had not any.
" An I had but silver pieces three,
Methinks I should be content, " saith he.
Then a pitying voice from a little space
Apart, spake softly: " God give thee grace,
Or one day thou wilt have surely
Of silver pieces, — ten times three. "
Uprose Iscariot to his feet:
" What imp art thou with voice so sweet
And words so bitter? " he asked in wrath,
" Shall a wandering boy that treads in the gath,
(Aye! the wine-stains red on thy feet I see!)
With Judas Iscariot thus make free?
Begone! for something, angel or devil,
Warneth that thou wilt bring me evil! "
" Not so, but I'll bring thee heavenly balm,
When every other shall wish thee harm.
For a vision I had this night is past,
And therein I saw thee at the last
For a Sin of sins to that pit descend,
Where is wailing and weeping, world without end,
And lo! I also descended there
To bring thee comfort; for stark despair
I had bound by a withe from the Vine of Love
Whereo'er broods ever the Mystic Dove;
And vengeance I'd bound too, and wrath, and fear;
There was only forgiveness left, Judas dear! "
But Judas raged out where he stood:
" Shall I do evil that thou mayest do good?
If thou wert bond-boy unto me,
I'd sell thee for a groat! " cried he.
" Suckling prophet of Satan! Away!
Else will I make thee rue this day! "
And as with hatred he did glare,
Behold! The child was no more there.

But he asked none who the boy might be,
For he thought that a ghostly thing was he.
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