The Vineyard

At the eleventh hour he came,
But his wages were the same
As ours who all day long had trod 
The wine-press of the Wrath of God.

When he shouldered through the lines 
Of our cropped and mangled vines,
His unjaded eye could scan 
How each hour had marked its man.

(Children of the morning-tide 
With the hosts of noon had died,
And our noon contingents lay 
Dead with twilight's spent array.)

Since his back had felt no load, 
Virtue still in him abode
So he swiftly made his own 
Those last spoils we had not won.

We went home delivered thence,
Grudging him no recompense 
Till he portioned praise of blame 
To our works before he came.

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Till he showed us for our good –
Deaf to mirth, and blind to scorn –
How we might have best withstood
Burdens that he had not borne.!