St. Michael's
Orthodox School
Santa Rosa, CA
The Camel's Nose
    The Camel's Nose is a poem that we often bring out at the beginning of Great Lent. It is a good doorway into discussions about battling our own laziness and self-centeredness. With a little encouragement, the children understand the poem, their favorite part being "choke the dark fountain ere it flows."

The Camel's Nose


Once in his shop a workman wrought,
With languid head and listless thought,
When through the open window's space,
Behold, a  camel thrust his face !
"My nose is cold," he meekly cried;
"Oh, let me warm it by thy side!"

Since no denial word was said,
In came the nose, in came the he ad:
As sure as sermon follows text,
The long and scraggly neck came next;
And then, as falls the threatening storm,
In leaped the whole ungainly form.

Aghast, the owner gazed around,
And the rude invader frowned,
Convinced, as closer still he pressed,
There was no room for such a guest;
Yet more astonished, heard him say,
"If thou art troubled, go away,
For in this place I choose to stay."

O, youthful hearts for gladness born,
Treat not this Arab lore with scorn!
To evil habits' earliest wile
Lend neither ear, no glance, nor smile.
Choke the dark fountain ere it flows,
Nor e'en admit the camel's nose.