Their land was wrecked; so said a seer:
“There is a paradise quite near.
It is a garden lush but walled.
“The Promised Land”, this place is called.”
And so they ventured quickly there.
They craved a place, verdant and fair,
And soon they saw the high ramparts;
Outside the walls, halted their carts.
They spied the watchers in the towers.
Saw through the iron-barred gates the flowers,
The fountains, and the towering trees,
And then as one fell to their knees;
Beseeched the guards to let them in;
Convinced them ‘twas a wicked sin
To not with all God’s creatures share
The riches they had gathered there.
And so the gates were opened wide
And surged the travellers inside.
Each guard turned to his friend and said:
“They must be housed, and clothed and fed,
So strip the gardens of their fruit;
The game that roam the pastures shoot;
Cut down the trees and gather wood;
We must treat them as good men should.
Though their home they’ve abused and spoiled,
And though for ours our forebears toiled,
We must to these poor travellers give
Our goods and homes so they might live.
Our God, our kindness He will see,
And bless us, as each refugee,
Though foreign, lends a helping hand
To build a better Promised Land.“
There was a paradise quite near,
But should you travel there I fear
You’ll find but fields of barren land,
The ruins of once ramparts grand,
Some shattered fountains, clogged and dry,
No flowers, once pleasing to the eye,
And trees? But stumps like rotten teeth,
Atop the bones that lie beneath.