May Miracle

On this festive first of May,
Wending wistfully my way
Three sad sights I saw today.

The first was such a lovely lad
He lit with grace the sordid street;
Yet in a monk's robe he was clad,
With tonsured head and sandalled feet.
Though handsome as a movie star
His eyes had holiness in them,
As if he saw afaint, afar
A stable-stall in Bethlehem.

The second was a crippled maid
Who gazed and gazed with eager glance
Into a window that displayed
The picture of a ballet dance.
And as she leaned on crutches twain,
Before that poster garland-gay
She looked so longingly and vain
I thought she'd never go away.

The last one was a sightless man
Who to the tune of a guitar
Caught coppers in a dingy can,
Patient and sad as blind men are.
So old and grey and grimy too,
His fingers fumbled on the strings,
As emptily he looked at you,
And sang as only sorrow sings.

Then I went home and had a dream
That seemed fantastical to me...
I saw the youth with eye agleam
Put off his robe and dance with glee.
The maid her crutches threw away;
Her withered limbs seemed shapely fine;
And there the two with radiance gay
Divinely danced in soft entwine:
While the blind man, his sight restored,
Guitared the Glory of the Lord.

by Robert William Service

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