‘Be kind, be kind, and you will be a saint,’
The holy old men all together speak,
And see the traveller here as Heaven-sent.
But is this kind of kindness permanent
In cells that echo, while the tame monks work:
‘Be kind, be kind, and you will be a saint’?
How has the traveller plunged in classic print
Been welcomed by these Noahs to their ark?
They see the sinner here as Heaven-bent,
And wash and dry his feet, obedient
To Christ, whose words on Judgement Day will shock:
‘It is so kind of you to be a saint.’
By kindness, write the mystics, here is meant
The daily going up of self in smoke:
At wrong times is the traveller Heaven-sent.
The Fathers of the Desert, childlike, scant
Themselves to give the traveller nourishment:
‘Be kind, be kind, and you will be a saint,
And be yourself and be, like us, content.’