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W. Garrett Horder, comp. The Poets’ Bible: New Testament. 1895.

Mary at the Wedding Feast

George MacDonald (1824–1905)

THE LORD of life among them rests;

They quaff the merry wine;

They do not know, those wedding guests,

The present power divine.

Believe, on such a group he smiled,

Though he might sigh the while;

Believe not, sweet-souled Mary’s child

Was born without a smile.

He saw the pitchers high upturned,

The last red drops to pour;

His mother’s cheek with triumph burned,

And expectation wore.

He knew the prayer her bosom housed,

He read it in her eyes;

Her hopes in him sad thoughts have roused

Before her words arise.

“They have no wine,” her shy lips said,

With prayer but half begun;

Her eyes went on, “Lift up Thy head,

Show what thou art, my son!”

A vision rose before his eyes,

The cross, the waiting tomb,

The people’s rage, the darkened skies,

His unavoided doom.

“Ah woman-heart! what end is set

Common to thee and me?

My hour of honour is not yet,—

’Twill come too soon for thee.”

The word was dark; the tone was kind;

His heart the mother knew;

And still his eyes more sweetly shined,

His voice more gentle grew.

Another, on the word intent,

Had heard refusal there;

His mother heard a full consent,

A sweetly answer’d prayer.

“Whate’er he saith unto you, do.”

Fast flowed the grapes divine;

Though then, as now, not many knew

Who made the water wine.