ABRAM AND ZIMRI


Abram and Zimri owned a field together--A level field hid in a happy vale.
They plowed it with one plow, and in the Spring they sowed, walking side by side, the fruitful seed.
    In harvest, when the glad earth smiled with grain, each carried to his home one-half the sheaves
And store them with much labor in his barns.
Now Abram had a wife and seven sons, But Zimri dwelt alone within his house.
    One night before the sheaves were gathered in, as Zimri lay upon his lonely bed,
and counted in his mind his little gains, He thought upon his brother Abram's lot.
and said, "I dwell alone within my house, But Abram hath a wife and seven sons,
and yet we share the harvest sheaves alike; he surely needeth more for life than I;
I will arise, and gird myself, and go down to the field, and add to his from mine."
So he arose, and girded up his loins, And went out softly to the level field.
The moon shone out from dusky bars of clouds, And trees stood black
against the cold blue sky; The branches waved, and whispered to the wind. So Zimri, guided by the shifting light, went down the mountain path, and found the field, took from his store of sheaves a generous third, and bore them gladly to his brother's heap. And then went back to sleep and happy dreams.
    Now the same night as Abram lay in bed, thinking upon his blissful state of life,
he thought upon his brother Zimri's lot and said, "He dwells within his house alone.
He goeth forth to toil with few to help. He goeth. home at night to a cold house
and hath few other friends but me and mine." For these two tilled the happy vale alone. "While I, whom heaven hath very greatly blessed, dwell happy with my wife and seven sons, who aid me in my toil and make it light! And yet we share the harvest sheaves alike. - - This surely is not pleasing unto God. I will arise, and gird myself, and go out to the field, and borrow from my store, And add unto my brother Zimri's pile."
So he arose, and girded up his loins, And went softly down to the level field.
The moon shone out from silver bars of clouds, and trees stood black
against the starry sky. The dark leaves waved and whispered in the breeze.
So Abram, guided by the doubtful light, passed down the mountain path, and found the field, took from his sheaves a generous third, and added them unto his brother's heap; Then he went back to sleep and happy dreams.
So the next morning with the early sun the brothers rose, and went out to their toil
and when they came to see the heavy sheaves, each wondered in his heart to find his heap, though he had given a third, was still the same. .
    Now the next night went Zimri to the field, took from his store of sheaves a generous share and place them on his brother Abram's share and then lay down behind his pile to watch. The moon looked out from bars of silvery clouds,
the cedars stood up black against the sky, the olive branches whispered in the wind. Then Abram came down softly from his home, and, looking to the left and right, went on, took from his ample store a generous third, And laid it on his brother Zimri's pile. Then Zimri rose, and caught him in his arms,
And wept upon his neck, and kissed his cheek.
And Abram saw the whole, and could not speak;
Neither could Zimri, for their hearts were full.
. -- Clarence Cook