Long ago, a lad it was who went astray, 
Away from his home one fine day.
Finding himself in the midst of a mob,
He was frightened and began to sob.
They drew close and grabbed him
And for once he thought they would stab him.

'You!' they roared, 'we know your father, 
'And if you dare us we will beat you harder.
'Your father was a traitor to our community, 
'He was treacherous and full of iniquity,
'For that reason we find you guilty
And shall not regard your innocent frailty'.

'O people', cried the frail frightened boy,
'Listen to conscience and bring your hearts to your employ, 
'The offences committed by my father 
'For which I come under your hammer
'Were committed before I was born.
'O people, do not jeer and laugh to scorn.

'For one thing I do surely know,
'That a man should not reap what he did not sow. 
'That were I a man by then born, 
'At his folly I would be so forlorn.
'I would not have my father sided,
'Him would I have severely chided.
'I have never loved wickedness or treachery
'Nor do I tolerate infidelity and lechery.

'If you kill me for my father's sin,
Not because I am guilty but because I am kin
Then justice has indeed strayed far from its way
But final decision must come on Judgment Day'.
Then the lad bowed and submitted
To die for what his father committed.

'Stop!' shouted an old man in the crowd,
'Leave him alone', he cried out loud.
'This lad has taught us true wisdom, 
'Such as never before heard in this kingdom.
'If each of us had died for his father's crimes,
How many of us would have remained in these times?'

Therefore did the crowd thin away
As each person went his way
Till there remained the old man and the boy,
And together strolled from the hoipoloi. 
'The father's sin', said the old man, 'should not be on the son'.
'Each', replied the boy, 'should reap from what he has done'.

Long after, the boy grew to be a man, 
Respected by all and called 'The Wise One'.
And his fame grew and spread in every land
For wisdom was a treasure in his right hand.