The Shepherd and the Knight

SHEPHERD

SIR KNIGHT with stalwart spear and shield,
Where ridest thou to-day?
The sunlight lies across the field,
Thou art weary in the way;
Dismount and stay.

KNIGHT

Peace to thine house and folds and stalls ;
I ride upon my quest,
I travel until evening falls
Whither my Lord deems best
By me unguessed.

SHEPHERD

Who is the lord, that sends thee forth,
Good knight, from thine own land ?
He needs must be of royal worth
To whom such warriors stand
At his command.

KNIGHT

We have not seen His face, we hear
A voice that bids us be
The servants of an unborn year,
Knights of a day that we
Shall never see.

SHEPHERD

Reason enough ye go astray,
Sir Knight. I fain would learn —
So many warriors wend this way —
What wages they may earn.
For none return.

KNIGHT

They go before me in the night,
They follow after me,
They earn the triumph of the right,
Their wages are to be
Faithful as He.

SHEPHERD

Look you, Sir Knight, I take mine ease,
Fat are my sheep and kine,
I have mine own philosophies,
My way of life —

KNIGHT

Is thine,
And mine is mine.

SHEPHERD

Why, now! The man is gone! Pardie,
A silly wage! I trow
His lord that pays him mad as he.
Fools are a crop will grow
Though no man sow.