A STORY is told in an Eastern clime, 

To the traveler of today, 

Of a servant on a long journey sent, 

With food and drink for the way. 

The scorching sun poured down its beams, 

As he plodded along the road, 

It seemed that the earth and his soul were scorched 

As he panted beneath his load. 

"Turn not to the right nor to the left, 

Be sparing of water and bread, 

'T is only thus you can save your life," 

On parting the master had said. 

But the way was long o'er the desert sand, 

And his burden heavier grew, 

So he cast about in, his fevered brain, 

For a better way to do. 

Just then he saw flowing through the sand, 

A beautiful, sparkling stream, 

He thought, "What a worse than useless thing 

Does tills waterflask now seem." 

So he poured its contents upon the ground, 

And walked with a freer step; 

His heart was light, but the beautiful stream, 

Afar in the distance kept. 

He lay and slept, but arose at last, 

With languor before unknown, 

While the crystal stream to a silver lake, 

In the valley below had grown. 

The sun went down o'er the mountain's crown, 

And the mirage vanished away; 

O'ercome by thirst, uncheered, and alone, 

'Neath the pitiless stars he lay 

And his life went out like the ebbing tide, 

With his agony-cry unheard, 

And all because he had failed to trust 

To the master's wisdom and word. 

Simply for want of the crystal drops 

He had poured on the thankless sand, 

Thinking they could readily be replaced, 

From the lakelet so near at hand. 

Let us trust no mirage however fair, 

'Twill never supply our need; 

Let us list for the Master's words with care, 

And his lightest whisper heed. 

The river can never flow back, if it would, 

To its early mountain home; 

If the water be spilled, it is gone for aye— 

Lost moments no more will come.