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WHILE SHEPHERDS WATCHED

From the December 1925 issue of The Christian Science Journal


Upon the verge of that vast wilderness Which from Akabah's salt-encrusted shore Extends its lonely wastes towards the East Unto the threshold of those watered lands Erstwhile the seat of proud Assyria's power, And southward rock-encircled Petra meets, The sculptured gate of hermit Araby, The shepherds from Judea's terraced hills Guarded their flocks far from abodes of men. There, amid sun-scorched rocks and wind-swept sands, In wadies deep, where scanty herbage grew, Remote from all the world's vain murmurings, Where thought broods undisturbed by jarring note, By jealous strife or frown of tyrant kings, But free and unconfined high heaven greets, The omnipresent God Himself reveals To those receptive of His grace divine.