Home  »  Complete Poetical Works by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  »  Part I. The Divine Tragedy. The First Passover. VI. The Sea of Galilee

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.

Christus: A Mystery

Part I. The Divine Tragedy. The First Passover. VI. The Sea of Galilee

PETER and ANDREW mending their nets.

NEVER was such a marvellous draught of fishes

Heard of in Galilee! The market-places

Both of Bethsaida and Capernaum

Are full of them! Yet we had toiled all night

And taken nothing, when the Master said:

Launch out into the deep, and cast your nets;

And doing this, we caught such multitudes,

Our nets like spiders’ webs were snapped asunder,

And with the draught we filled two ships so full

That they began to sink. Then I knelt down

Amazed, and said: O Lord, depart from me,

I am a sinful man. And he made answer:

Simon, fear not; henceforth thou shalt catch men!

What was the meaning of those words?

I know not.

But here is Philip, come from Nazareth.

He hath been with the Master. Tell us, Philip,

What tidings dost thou bring?

Most wonderful!

As we drew near to Nain, out of the gate

Upon a bier was carried the dead body

Of a young man, his mother’s only son,

And she a widow, who with lamentation

Bewailed her loss, and the much people with her;

And when the Master saw her he was filled

With pity; and he said to her: Weep not!

And came and touched the bier, and they that bare it

Stood still; and then he said: Young man, arise!

And he that had been dead sat up, and soon

Began to speak; and he delivered him

Unto his mother. And there came a fear

On all the people and they glorified

The Lord, and said, rejoicing: A great Prophet

Is risen up among us! and the Lord

Hath visited his people!

A great Prophet?

Ay, greater than a Prophet: greater even

Than John the Baptist!

Yet the Nazarenes

Rejected him.

The Nazarenes are dogs!

As natural brute beasts, they growl at things

They do not understand; and they shall perish,

Utterly perish in their own corruption.

The Nazarenes are dogs!

They drave him forth

Out of their Synagogue, out of their city,

And would have cast him down a precipice,

But, passing through the midst of them, he vanished

Out of their hands.

Wells are they without water,

Clouds carried with a tempest, unto whom

The mist of darkness is reserved forever!

PHILIPBehold he cometh. There is one man with him

I am amazed to see!

What man is that?

Judas Iscariot; he that cometh last,

Girt with a leathern apron. No one knoweth

His history; but the rumor of him is

He had an unclean spirit in his youth.

It hath not left him yet.

CHRISTUS, passing.
Come unto me,

All ye that labor and are heavy laden,

And I will give you rest! Come unto me,

And take my yoke upon you and learn of me,

For I am meek, and I am lowly in heart,

And ye shall all find rest unto your souls!

Oh, there is something in that voice that reaches

The innermost recesses of my spirit!

I feel that it might say unto the blind:

Receive you sight! and straightway they would see!

I feel that it might say unto the dead,

Arise! and they would hear it and obey!

Behold, he beckons to us!

Follow me!

Master, I will leave all and follow thee.