A True Story

A homeless vagrant lay upon the pier.
His face obscured by an old and battered hat.
Un-noticed by the people who walked near.
Or those who engaged in idle chat.
A sudden silence came when on the wind
The chime of distant church bells filled the air.
He stirred at that, and then again lay still.
He may have slept, or said a silent prayer.
Perhaps the sound brought memories of home.
Perhaps he felt ashamed of his will to roam.
That caused his mother grief and bitter tears.

A splash! A shout! Then came an anguished cry.
“My boy! He’s drowning! Hurry! Save my child!”
Quick as a flash the tramp sprang up and ran
And plunged into the water fierce adn wild.
Go right! He’s over there!” The watchers called.
He swam in desperate hast the child to reach,
Before the boy sank a final time;
Then turned and started swimming for the beach.
The sea was rough. The undertow was strong.
The form, though small, was a heavy weight for him.
His Strength was going, but struggled on.
The shore seemed distant, for his eyes were dim.

At last he reached the breakers, where the crowd
Who’d watched his valiant fight stretched out their hands
To take his burden from him and to help
Him through the waves and to the sunlight sands.
He felt exhausted, but from far away
He heard “The boy will live. The man is dead.”
But e’er he went, those nearby saw him smile.
“I did it in His name,” he softly said.

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