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Poem by George MacDonald


The Gospel Women. 14. Martha


  With joyful pride her heart is high:
      Her humble house doth hold
  The man her nation's prophecy
      Long ages hath foretold!

  Poor, is he? Yes, and lowly born:
      Her woman-soul is proud
  To know and hail the coming morn
      Before the eyeless crowd.

  At her poor table will he eat?
      He shall be served there
  With honour and devotion meet
      For any king that were!

  'Tis all she can; she does her part,
      Profuse in sacrifice;
  Nor dreams that in her unknown heart
      A better offering lies.

  But many crosses she must bear;
      Her plans are turned and bent;
  Do what she can, things will not wear
      The form of her intent.

  With idle hands and drooping lid,
      See Mary sit at rest!
  Shameful it was her sister did
      No service for their guest!

  Dear Martha, one day Mary's lot
      Must rule thy hands and eyes;
  Thou, all thy household cares forgot,
      Must sit as idly wise!

  But once more first she set her word
      To bar her master's ways,
  Crying, "By this he stinketh, Lord,
      He hath been dead four days!"

  Her housewife-soul her brother dear
      Would fetter where he lies!
  Ah, did her buried best then hear,
      And with the dead man rise?



George MacDonald


George MacDonald's other poems:
  1. The Gospel Women. 16. The Woman That Was a Sinner
  2. Concerning Jesus
  3. A Memorial of Africa
  4. The Gospel Women. 3. The Mother of Zebedee's Children
  5. The Gospel Women. 1. The Mother Mary


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