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

Mary Seeking Her Son

George MacDonald (1824–1905)

AH, there he stands! With wondering face

Old men surround the boy;

The solemn looks, the awful place,

Bestill the mother’s joy.

In sweet reproach her joy is hid;

Her trembling voice is low,

Less like the chiding than the chid,

“How could’st thou leave us so?”

But will her dear heart understand

The answer that he gives—

Childlike, eternal, simple, grand,

The law by which he lives?

“Why sought ye me?” Ah, mother dear!

The gulf already opes

That soon will keep thee to thy fear,

And part thee from thy hopes.

“My Father’s business—that ye know,

I cannot choose but do.”

Mother, if He that work forego,

Not long He cares for you.

Creation’s harder, better part,

Is in His willing hand;

I marvel not the mother’s heart

Not yet could understand.