Alms

Winter… A snow-storm…
The snow is falling in large flakes,
And a strong wind is blowing.
A ragged beggarly old woman is standing at the temple entrance.

She is standing with a crutch, waiting for alms.
She is barefooted both in summer and in winter.
Please give her alms.

You know, twenty years ago
This old woman was a poet’s dream,
And the fame twined a wreath for her.

When she was singing on the stage,
Paris was enchanted with her.
She was unrivalled.
Please give her alms.

It often happened that the crowd
Didn’t let her go after the performance.
And the delighted young people shouted loudly “Bravo!”
As she passed by.

The circle of her guests praised her generously –
In happiness everybody is our friend,
But in trouble these friends disappear…

The saint will of Providence:
The artist became ill
And lost her voice and eyesight.
Today she lives by begging.

Earlier, beggars often used to come to her
For asking for alms.
And today she is ashamed of begging you…
Please give her alms.

——————
And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again

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Alms

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