The Good Shepherd With The Kid [Sonnet] by Matthew Arnold

He saves the sheep, the goats he doth not save.
So rang Tertullian’s sentence, on the side
Of that unpitying Phrygian sect which cried:[1]
“Him can no fount of fresh forgiveness lave,

“Who sins, once wash’d by the baptismal wave.”–
So spake the fierce Tertullian. But she sigh’d,
The infant Church! of love she felt the tide
Stream on her from her Lord’s yet recent grave.

And then she smiled; and in the Catacombs,
With eye suffused but heart inspired true,
On those walls subterranean, where she hid

Her head ‘mid ignominy, death, and tombs,
She her Good Shepherd’s hasty image drew–
And on his shoulders, not a lamb, a kid.

[Footnote 1:

Of that unpitying Phrygian sect which cried.

The Montanists.]

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