A Persian fable says: One day
A wanderer found a lump of clay
So savory of sweet perfume
Its odor scented all the room.
“What are you?”was his quick demand,
“Are you some gem from Samarkand,
Or pure nard in this plain disguise,
Or other costly merchandise?”
“No, I am but a lump of clay.”
“Then whence this wondrous perfume–say!”
“Friend, if the secret I disclose,
I have been dwelling with the rose.”
Sweet parable! and will not those
Who love to dwell with Sharon’s rose,
Distill sweet odors all around,
Though low and poor themselves are found?
Dear Lord, abide with us that we
May draw our perfume fresh from Thee.
L. B. Cowman
Streams in the Desert