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

The Mother Mary Desiring to See Christ

George MacDonald (1824–1905)

“HE is beside himself.” Dismayed,

His mother, brothers talked:

“He from the well-known path has strayed,

In which our fathers walked.”

And sad at heart, they sought him. Loud

Some one the message bore;

He stands within, amidst a crowd,

They at the open door.

“Thy mother and thy brothers would

Speak with thee. Lo, they stand

Without and wait thee!” Like a flood

Of sunrise on the land,

A new-born light his face o’erspread;

Out from his eyes it poured;

He lifted up that gracious head,

Looked round him, took the word:

“My mother—brothers—who are they?”

Hearest thou, Mary mild?

This is a sound that well may slay—

Disowned by thy child!

Ah, no! My brothers, sisters, hear!

What says our humble lord?

O mother, did it wound thy ear?

We thank him for the word.

“Who are my friends?” Oh! hear him say,

Stretching his hand abroad:

“My mother, sisters, brothers, they

Who do the will of God.”

My brother! Lord of life and me,

If it might come to this!

Ah! brother, sister, that would be

Enough for all amiss.

Yea, hear him, mother, and rejoice:

No better name hath he,

To give us best of all his choice,

Than that he gives to thee.

O humble child, O faithful son!

Of women most forlorn,

She who the Father’s will hath done,

The Son of Man hath borne.

Mary, if in thy coming pain,

Thou to thy Father bow,

The Christ shall be thy son again,

And twice his mother thou.