And in this lies my honour and my reward, –
That when ever I come to the fountain to drink I find the living water itself thirsty;
And it drinks me while I drink it.
Some of you have deemed me proud and over shy to receive gifts.
Too proud indeed am I to receive wages, but not gifts.
And though I have eaten berries among the hills when you would have had me sit at your board,
And slept in the portico of the temple when you would gladly have sheltered me,
Yet it was not your loving mindfulness of my days and my nights that made food sweet to my mouth and girdled my sleep with visions?
For this I bless you most:
You give much and know not that you give at all.
Verily the kindness that gazes upon itself in a mirror turns to stone,
And a good deed that calls itself by tender names becomes the parent to a curse.
And some of you have called me aloof, and drunk with my own aloneness,
And you have said,
“He holds council with the trees of the forest, but not with men.
“He sits alone on hill-tops and looks down upon our city.”
True it is that I have climbed the hills and walked in remote places.
How could I have seen you save from a great height or a great distance?