THOUGH blind with age, forth Beda went with zeal

The tidings of salvation to proclaim. 

Through town and hamlet, guided by a boy, 

The pious father wandered, full of love, 

And preached to dying men the word of life. 

The boy once guided him into a vale 

O'erstrewn with rocks and mighty heaps of stone, 

And there in wantonness, not malice, said, 

"Most rev'rend father, many men are here, 

And wait to hear the word of gospel truth." 

The blind old man arose with joyful haste, 

Chose him a text, explained it and applied, 

Exhorted, warned, rebuked and comforted 

So loving, that the tears rolled down his cheeks 

And gently hid themselves in his gray beard. 

When in conclusion, then, as it isn't, 

He prayed the prayer the Saviour taught, and said, 

"Thine is the kingdom, thine the pow'r, and thine 

The glory unto all eternity," 

There burst from out the vale a mighty shout: 

"Amen, most rev'rend father," and "Amen!" 

The boy was frightened; kneeling down with shame 

He to the holy saint confessed the sin. 

"Son," said the father, "hast thou never read, 

When men are silent, rocks and stones will cry!

Mock nevermore, 0 son, the word of God; 

A two-edged sword it is, and quick, and sharp, 

And powerful. And if the heart of man 

Should turn to stone, defying truth and love, 

The rock with human heart would throb aloud."