Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, does not light a candle, and sweep the house…
Sometimes, in visions of a mournful fancy, I seem to see this Mother-Church of ours sitting within her ancient and noble house, sitting as a woman exceeding fair, but very cold and still; and so she sitteth with her hands folded before her, as though she said to herself, "I shall be a lady for ever; f shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children." And year by year, century after century, the dust falls and gathers, and falls in the silence around her, and all things are covered as with a shroud, and the precious coins are lost to sight and buried deep beneath. And then I seem to see her arousing herself at last from her long waking dream, and looking about with dismay for her lost treasures — bestirring herself to find them, sweeping the dust away here and there, bringing to light with busy toil many a shining effigy of the great King. And then I seem to hear indignant voices of those who clamour and storm against her for disturbing quiet things, and making unnecessary agitation, and raising an unpleasant dust; all the rich people, and the comfortable people, and the people that are well at ease, and all that have no care for souls — all are angry with her, and cry out to her, "Why can you not sit still as you did before, and if the dust falls, let it fall, and if the coins of the King be lost, let them be lost? only trouble us not, only do not vex our souls with all this stir and dust." Once again I seem to see her that sometime sat as a queen and was not moved; I seem to see her disconcerted and perplexed, anxious to recover the lost, yet anxious not to give offence; I see her hesitate and quail, and lay aside her search with sorrow, and sit down again, but not at ease; I see the dust begin to fall and settle again, and fall and gather around her thicker and thicker, until every shining coin be lost beneath the growing litter of neglect. Last of all, I see a day arise, black with wind and rain, against that ancient house wherein the woman sits; I see the tempest of God's anger loosed upon it, I see the lightning of His indignation launched against it; I see her crushed and buried beneath the wreck, among the silver pieces which she lost and did not find.
(R. Winterbotham, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?