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Poem by George MacDonald


Mary Magdalene


With wandering eyes and aimless zeal,
She hither, thither, goes;
Her speech, her motions, all reveal
A mind without repose.

She climbs the hills, she haunts the sea,
By madness tortured, driven;
One hour's forgetfulness would be
A gift from very heaven!

She slumbers into new distress;
The night is worse than day:
Exulting in her helplessness,
Hell's dogs yet louder bay.

The demons blast her to and fro;
She has no quiet place,
Enough a woman still, to know
A haunting dim disgrace.

A human touch! a pang of death!
And in a low delight
Thou liest, waiting for new breath.
For morning out of night.

Thou risest up: the earth is fair,
The wind is cool; thou art free!
Is it a dream of hell's despair
Dissolves in ecstasy?

That man did touch thee! Eyes divine
Make sunrise in thy soul;
Thou seest love in order shine:
His health hath made thee whole!

Thou, sharing in the awful doom,
Didst help thy Lord to die;
Then, weeping o'er his empty tomb,
Didst hear him Mary cry.

He stands in haste; he cannot stop;
Home to his God he fares:
"Go tell my brothers I go up
To my Father, mine and theirs."

Run, Mary! lift thy heavenly voice;
Cry, cry, and heed not how;
Make all the new-risen world rejoice
Its first apostle thou!

What if old tales of thee have lied,
Or truth have told, thou art
All-safe with him, whate'er betide
Dwell'st with him in God's heart!



George MacDonald


George MacDonald's other poems:
  1. The Auld Fisher
  2. On the Source of the Arve
  3. Going to Sleep
  4. The Women who Ministered unto Him
  5. Pilate's Wife


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