WHAT if the little Jewish lad, 

That summer day, had failed to go 

Down to the lake, because he had 

So small a store of loaves to show? 

"The press is great," he might have said; 

"For food the thronging people call; 

I only have five loaves of bread, 

And what are they among them all?" 

And back the mother's words might come, 

Her coaxing hand upon his hair: 

"Yet go; for they may comfort some 

Among the hungry children there." 

So to the lakeside forth he went, 

Bearing the scant supply he had; 

And Jesus, with an eye intent, 

Through all the crowds beheld the lad; 

And saw the loaves and blessed them. Then 

Beneath his hand the marvel grew: 

He brake and blessed, and brake again— 

The loaves were neither small nor few. 

For, as we know, it came to pass 

That hungry thousands there were fed, 

While sitting on the fresh green grass, 

From that one basketful of bread. 

If from his home the lad that day 

His five little loaves had failed to take, 

Would Christ have wrought—can any say?— 

This miracle beside the lake? 

—Children's Friend.