The kingdom of heaven may be compared
to a king’s wedding feast for his son –
servants called out once it was prepared,
but none of the guests wanted to come.
Again he sent forth many servants,
saying, “Tell all those invited,
‘Dinner’s made and we’ve got currants!
Oxen, calves are both divided!
Come now, to the feast, I say,
hotfoot it here and don’t delay!’”
But the invitees paid no heed to his pleas;
some went off to their steeds to do as they please.
The rest seized these leader’s trusty appointees
to mistreat them and hang them from trees by their knees!
The crown began raging and sent down his men
to slaughter those slaying and burn up their wen.
Then he said to his servants, “This reception is lit!
But those I requested have proven unfit!
So go to the roads and invite those you find;
the banquet is ready, the bridegroom is kind.”
The famuli scoured the roads and the wood,
gathering all whom they found, bad and good.
The wedding hall filled at the ruler’s request,
then the king came inside to greet every guest,
but there was a caller among them who dressed
in jeans and a t-shirt, not wearing his best!
“Friend,” said the king, “How e’er did you enter
when you don’t wear all your vestments and splendor?”
The visitor tried to speak, but no use.
All he could utter was just, “What the deuce–“
He knew why the words simply would not produce –
he had no excuse for attending unspruce!
Then said the king with blistering sharpness,
“Bind this man and have him bequeathed
to the illiberal, hard-hearted darkness
where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth!
For many are called while the kingdom is open,
but few are qualified enough to be chosen.”