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

Mary Magdalen

Jean Ingelow (1820–1897)

ONCE in old Jerusalem

A woman kneeled at consecrated feet,

Kissed them, and washed them with her tears,

“What then?

I think that yet our Lord is pitiful:

I think I see the castaway e’en now!

And she is not alone: the heavy rain

Splashes without, and sullen thunder rolls,

But she is lying at the sacred feet

Of One transfigured.

“And her tears flow down,

Down to her lips—her lips that kiss the print

Of nails; and love is like to break her heart!

Love and repentance—for it still doth work

Sore in her soul to think, to think that she,

Even she, did pierce the sacred, sacred feet,

And bruise the thorn-crown’d head.

“O Lord, our Lord,

How great is Thy compassion!”