Another day, it came to pass
A lawyer (a self-righteous ass)
Stood up to tempt Our Man and said
“How shall I live once I am dead?”
So Jesus asked him how he saw
The score according to the law.
“To love the Lord with all thine heart
And strength and mind and all thou art,
And for one other thing to labour –
To love as thine own self thy neighbour.”
“Do that and you will never die,”
Said Jesus, but the legal guy
Replied, “Do tell me, if you please,
Exactly who my neighbour is?”
So Jesus heaved a sigh and told
Another tale: “In days of old
A Jewish person had to go
Along the road to Jericho.
Now at that time the route was known
As something of a no-go zone.
He hadn’t travelled far before
A band of robbers – twelve or more
All set upon him; in a flash
They’d duffed him up and nicked his cash.
And as he lay there in the dirt
With busted face and tattered shirt,
A priest came sensitively by
And saw the man and heard his cry.
But fearful of the robber band
He failed to give the man a hand,
And letting caution be his guide
He passed by on the other side.
There followed then a little lull
While bruises blossomed on his skull,
Until a Levite came along
A holy man, whose faith was strong.
He said, ‘Just trust in nature’s power
To make thee better hour by hour.’
And having blessed the man like so
He hurried on to Jericho.”
“My tale is long, my tale is odd
Spiced by a cunning trick of god,
For who came by to help the man?
You guessed it – a Samaritan!
A wretch of most ignoble birth,
Not fit to walk upon the earth!
(Their clothes are weird, their coffee’s gritty.)
He saw the man and, moved with pity,
Bathed his wounds with oil and wine
(The nasty, thieving little swine)
Then set the man upon his mule
Obedient to the golden rule.
He took him to an inn, (the creep)
And stayed there till he fell asleep.
And on the morrow left enough
To pay for food and nursing stuff.
Now which of these, my legal friend,
Was neighbour to him in the end?”
The lawyer squirmed and shook his head
And groaned and turned a little red,
But finally he answered, tersely,
“I guess, the one who showed him mercy.”
Said Jesus, “Aren’t you glad you came?
Now off you go and do the same.
Show mercy to the wounded poor
And to the folk who live next door.
Show mercy to the men of god
The true believer and the fraud.
Show mercy to the least of these
And grace to all your enemies.
Once in a while see if you can
Walk like a Samaritan!”