Brother John, Brother John, Why do you baptise?
Know you not we are circumcised?
"Yes,I do, but water satisfies
a thirst deeper than a knife's incise."
But Brother John, the water is filthy;
to spread a germ we'd feel guilty,
besides, the water is murky, even silty.
"But, my friends, your will is so wilty."
Yes, Brother John, we go our way ,
knowing not what's in the day,
but this water is only a display;
the rabbis look on you in dismay.
"Perhaps so, perhaps so, my human kin
the line between love and hate is very thin;
you say,'now is now and then is then',
but the hour to come you know not when."
True, true, Brother John, we know not the hour
but seeing bud we know there'll be flower
and seeing frown we know there's feeling, dour,
but this water makes us cower.
"Look, my friends, see who's coming
of His song I'm only struming;
His words will set you humming,
no more will you be fumbling."
"I pour this water on your head
In symbol of the Serpent's dread,
but you, my Lord, give me bread
and in your joy I'm happily fed."