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

The Woman Whom Satan Had Bound

George MacDonald (1824–1905)

FOR eighteen years, she, patient soul

Her eyes had graveward sent;

All vain for her the starry pole,

She is so bowed and bent.

What mighty words! who can be near?

What tenderness of hands!

Oh! is it strength, or fancy mere?

New hope, or breaking bands?

The pent life rushes swift along

Channels it used to know,

And up, amidst the wondering throng,

She rises firm and slow—

To bend again in grateful awe—

Will, power no more at strife—

In homage to the living Law

Who gives her back her life.

Uplifter of the drooping head!

Unbinder of the bound!

Thou seest our sore-burdened

Bend hopeless to the ground.

What if they see thee not, nor cry—

Thou watchest for the hour

To raise the forward-beaming eye,

To wake the slumbering power.

I see thee wipe the stains of time

From off the withered face;

Lift up thy bowed old men, in prime

Of youthful manhood’s grace.

Like summer days from winter’s tomb,

Arise thy women fair;

Old age, a shadow, not a doom,

Lo! is not anywhere.

All ills of life shall melt away

As melts a cureless woe,

When, by the dawning of the day

Surprised, the dream must go.

I think thou, Lord, wilt heal me too,

Whate’er the needful cure;

The great best only thou wilt do,

And hoping I endure.