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The Potter

   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."
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