THE CIRCLE of children were sitting 

  In the shade of the olives one day, 

Their heads crowned with roses and lilies, 

At rest from their innocent play.

"And so you saw Jesus?" said Ezra,

Who leaned on a sheaf of ripe corn, 

For he had been out with the gleaners, 

Since the first breaking of morn.

"Oh, yes;" cried the children, and Ruth said, 

"He stopped at the wayside to rest, 

And called us, and little Nathaniel 

He lifted up into his breast.

"And that's why he wears those white lilies;

We crowned him for love of the Lord, 

Whose lips kissed his dear little forehead, 

And, Ezra, you ought to have heard

"All the sweet words he said to us children!

We could not go on with our play, 

But, have sat here and talked it all over 

And wished that he always would stay."

"I wish he would stay," sighed Nathaniel, 

"I love him a thousand and one; 

I wish I could lie on his bosom 

Till mother the gleaning had done."

And Ezra arose with his corn sheaf,

And thoughtfully went on his way; 

"Oh, if I could see him!" he whispered; 

I wish I had been here today.

"But maybe again he'll be coming

This way, I'll watch as I glean; 

I should know him, the chief of a thousand, 

The kingliest form ever seen.

"But they say he is gentle and tender

As ever a woman could be; 

I long to behold him, this Jesus, 

And yet, would he look upon me?

"I only would speak of my mother, 

If just for a moment he'd hear, 

For they say that he healeth the palsy; 

O Jesus, the blessed, draw near! "

And Ezra went on to the cottage

Where all through the long, weary day,

His mother, alone, sick of palsy, 

In sorrow and helplessness lay.

And lo! As he entered, a stranger

Passed out of the cottage door, 

And laid his hand on him and blessed him,

And his heart thrilled as never before.

And his mother sprang forward to meet him,

With footsteps as light as the air;

"Oh, Ezra," she cried, "it was Jesus.

My heart was so heavy with care,

"And he came in; he said thou hadst asked him,

And bade me arise to my feet, 

And I stood, and I walked, and behold me 

In strength and in vigor complete."

And Ezra was silent with wonder,

And beat out the sheaf he had gleaned,

And his mother thought he was like Jesus, 

For his face with a strange beauty beamed.