A learned teacher, steeped in Nature’s lore,
Seeking, one day, for light on problems more
Intricate than he had ever dream`d;
Alighted on four common little ants he deem’d
Were hunting food to store for future need.
When, suddenly, a piece of earth was freed
By dampness, from the verdant bank,
And pinned one little ant until it sank
A helpless prisoner to the ground.
The other three with anxious care profound
Ran round and round their suffering friend,
Thinking, no doubt, how best his bond to rend.
Then each departed, the teacher feared
Ne’er to return; not so howe'er, for cheer’d
By hope, they came with five ants more
To work, and free their pal in strait so sore.
The piece of earth resisted each attack,
They tried by force and push to hurl it back,
Then pulled his legs with earnest zeal,
Perchance, to shift the weight his fate might seal,
Failing this end, they gnawed it piece by piece
Until, at last their comrade found release.
The learned teacher moved to thoughts profound,
Bowed in humble reverence to the ground,
Thinking of olden days when God stooped down
Sans royal robe, sans Kingly crown,
And with His finger wrote into the dust
A word the world might henceforth trust—
His own sweet name of LOVE.
—Sir Thomas Browne