‘Twas a sheep not a lamb that went astray
In the parable Jesus told.
‘Twas a grown sheep that wandered away
From the ninety and nine in the fold.
And out on the hilltop, and out in the cold,
‘Twas a sheep the Good Shepherd sought.
Back to the fold and back to the flock,
‘Twas a sheep that the Good Shepherd brought.
Now, why should the sheep be so carefully fed
And cared for even to-day?
Because there is danger if they go wrong,
They will lead the lambs astray.
The lambs will follow the sheep, you know,
Where’er they wander–where’er they go.
If the sheep goes wrong, it will not be long
Till the lambs are as wrong as they.
So still with the sheep we must earnestly plead,
For the sake of the lambs to-day.
If the lambs are lost, what a terrible cost
The sheep will have to pay!
*Also possibly by Minnie Lee Bovender, who penned a similar version of this poem. See more info in the comments below.