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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By A Book of Sonnets. II. The Sweeper of the Floor

George MacDonald (1824–1905)

METHOUGHT that in a solemn church I stood.

Its marble acres, worn with knees and feet,

Lay spread from door to door, from street to street.

Midway the form hung high upon the rood

Of Him who gave His life to be our good;

Beyond, priests flitted, bowed, and murmured meet,

Among the candles shining still and sweet.

Men came and went, and worshipped as they could—

And still their dust a woman with her broom,

Bowed to her work, kept sweeping to the door.

Then saw I, slow through all the pillared gloom,

Across the church a silent figure come:

“Daughter,” it said, “thou sweepest well my floor!”

It is the Lord! I cried, and saw no more.