A Potter, playing with his lump of clay,
Fashioned an image of supremest worth.
"Never was nobler image made on earth,
Than this that I have fashioned of my clay.
And I, of mine own skill, did fashion it,--
I--from this lump of clay."
The Master, looking out on Pots and Men,
Heard his vain boasting, smiled at that he said.
"The clay is Mine, and I the Potter made,
As I made all things,--stars, and clay, and men.
In what doth this man overpass the rest?
--Be thou as other men!"
He touched the Image,--and it fell to dust,
He touched the Potter,--he to dust did fall.
Gently the Master,--"I did make them all,--
All things and men, heaven's glories, and the dust.
Who with Me works shall quicken death itself,
Without Me--dust is dust."