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The Two Lords of Amherst


The two Lords, Jeffery and Jehovah, side by side

Proclaim that hospitality lives and Jesus died.


Jeffery in whitewashed brick, Jehovah in gray stone

Both testify man does not live by bread alone.


From sacred love to bed and board and love profane

One could dart back and forth and not get wet in rain.


How providentially inclusive the design:

Here are the cocktails, here the sacramental wine.


Here is the holy, here the not-so-holy host.

Here are the potted palms and here the Holy Ghost.


Tell, if you can and will, which is more richly blest:

The guest Jehovah entertains or Jeffery's guest.


Robert Francis



From Robert Francis: Collected Poems: 1936-1976,
University of Massachusetts Press,  1985.
Reprinted by permission.


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