by Robert Browning
``Give'' and ``It-shall-be-given-unto-you.''
Grand rough old Martin Luther
Bloomed fables---flowers on furze,
The better the uncouther:
Do roses stick like burrs?
A beggar asked an alms
One day at an abbey-door,
Said Luther; but, seized with qualms,
The abbot replied, ``We're poor!
``Poor, who had plenty once,
``When gifts fell thick as rain:
``But they give us nought, for the nonce,
``And how should we give again?''
Then the beggar, ``See your sins!
``Of old, unless I err,
``Ye had brothers for inmates, twins,
``Date and Dabitur.
``While Date was in good case
``Dabitur flourished too:
``For Dabitur's lenten face
``No wonder if Date rue.
``Would ye retrieve the one?
``Try and make plump the other!
``When Date's penance is done,
``Dabitur helps his brother.
``Only, beware relapse!''
The Abbot hung his head.
This beggar might be perhaps
An angel, Luther said.