Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  Mary Magdalene

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII. 1876–79.

Syria: Magdala

Mary Magdalene

By Thomas Moore (1779–1852)

WERE not the sinful Mary’s tears

An offering worthy heaven,

When o’er the faults of former years

She wept,—and was forgiven?

When, bringing every balmy sweet

Her day of luxury stored,

She o’er her Saviour’s hallowed feet

The precious perfumes poured;

And wiped them with that golden hair

Where once the diamond shone,

Though now those gems of grief were there

Which shine for God alone!

Were not those sweets so humbly shed,

That hair, those weeping eyes,

And the sunk heart, that inly bled,

Heaven’s noblest sacrifice?

Thou that hast slept in error’s sleep,

O, wouldst thou wake in heaven,

Like Mary kneel, like Mary weep,

Love much,—and be forgiven!