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Dear Elder Brother

From the February 1949 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Dear elder brother! Now I know
Just how you felt that day.
Many an elder brother since
Has learned the same hard way.
Oh, how you labored in your field
When others all had gone,
Hoping to win your father's praise,
To hear him say, "Well done."

Then, with your self-apportioned load,
You plodded home to rest,
Thinking, perhaps, approvingly.
How you had done your best.
Why did your thought so quickly flame
When there you saw the lights
Welcoming home the prodigal,
Restored to sonship rights?

How could you feel such enmity?
Could you begrudge him this—
Humble returning to his home,
His father's welcome kiss?
Only because you did not know
The truth of brotherhood;
Only because you had not learned
How measureless is good.

Ah, but the father's words to you
Healed every wound and smart;
Gone was all sense of rivalry,
Dividing part from part.
Then you beheld man's heritage—
Your brother's, yours, and mine:
Thou art forever with me, son,
And all that I have is thine.

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