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The Camp-Fires of My Friend
by [?]


Thou hast taken me into thy tent of the world, O God,
Beneath thy blue canopy I have found shelter,
Therefore thou wilt not deny me the right of a guest.

Naked and poor I arrived at thy door before sunset:
Thou hast refreshed me with beautiful bowls of milk,
As a great chief thou hast set forth food in abundance.

I have loved the daily delights of thy dwelling,
Thy moon and thy stars have lighted me to my bed,
In the morning I have made merry with thy servants.

Surely thou wilt not send me away in the darkness?
There the enemy Death is lying in wait for my soul:
Thou art the host of my life and I claim thy protection.

Then the Lord of the tent of the world made answer:
The right of a guest endureth for a certain time,
After three days and nights cometh the day of departure.

Yet hearken to me since thou fearest to go in the dark:
I will make with thee a new covenant of hospitality,
Behold I will come unto thee as a stranger and be thy guest.

Poor and needy will I come that thou mayest entertain me,
Meek and lowly will I come that thou mayest find a friend,
With mercy and with truth will I come to give thee comfort.

Therefore open thy heart to me and bid me welcome,
In this tent of the world I will be thy brother of the bread,
And when thou farest forth I will be thy companion forever.

Then my soul rested in the word of the Lord;
And I saw that the curtains of the world were shaken,
But I looked beyond them to the stars,
The camp-fires of my eternal friend.