No Price

A twelfth-century poet immortalized the ministry of the missionary-peddlers in the following lyric:

"Oh, lady fair, I have yet a gem,
Which a purer luster flings,
Than the diamond flash of the jewel'd crown
On the lofty brow of kings
A wonderful pearl of exceeding price,
Whose virtue shall not decay;
Whose light shall be as a guide to thee,
And a blessing on thy way."The lady glanced at the mirroring steel,
Where her form of grace was seen,
Where her eyes shone clear, and her dark
locks waved
Their clasping pearls between:
"Bring forth thy pearl of exceeding worth,
Thou traveler gray and old;
And name the price of thy precious gem,
And my pages shall count thy gold."
The cloud went off from the
pilgrim's brow,
As a small and meager book,
Unchased with gold or diamond gem,
From his folding robe he took;
"Here, lady fair, is the pearl of price,
May it prove as such to thee!
Nay, keep thy gold--I ask it not,
For the Word of God is free."
The hoary traveler went his way,
But the gift he left behind
Hath had its pure and perfect work
On that high-born maiden's mind;
And she had turned from the
pride of sin,
To the lowliness of truth,
And given her trustful heart to God
In its beautiful hour of youth.

--Wisdom Booklet 15, ATII