PSALMS OF THE BRETHREN
Canto III. Psalms of Three Verses
Psalms of three Verses
Translated from the Pali by Mrs. C.A.F. Rhys Davids.
Reborn in this Buddha-age in the kingdom of Magadha as a brahmin's son, he having the essential conditions entered the Order among the forest bhikkhus, and through study and practice acquired sixfold abhiññā. Thereupon he instructed bhikkhus, and preached to many folk on the Refuges and the Precepts. One family in particular he converted to faith and trust; and in that house he was greatly welcomed, the only daughter, a pretty, lovely girl, respectfully providing him with food.
One day Māra, plotting to disturb and disgrace him, took his shape, and going to the maiden, grasped her hand. But she, feeling that this was no human touch, loosed her hand. But the others in the house saw it and lost faith in the Thera. He, knowing nothing, perceived next day their changed manner. And discerning that Māra had been at work, he vowed to loose the dead dog from their neck, and made them tell him what had happened. And the housemaster, hearing his explanation, begged his forgiveness,  and declared he himself would wait upon him. The Thera told the matter in these verses:
 The trust thou once didst place in me,
To-day it lives no more. What's thine is thine;
But in this house no evil have I done.
 Transient and wavering is the layman's faith: -
So have I marked. Folk love and then grow cold.
Why for that should a holy brother die?
 I.e., maturity of evolution in character.
 This little poem, so simply explained by the Commentary, has for lack of it been twisted into a limping dialogue on Karma, etc., between two bhikkhus. See Neumann, in loc.