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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

For the Magdalene

William Drummond of Hawthornden (1585–1649)

‘THESE eyes, dear Lord, once brandons of desire,

Frail scouts betraying what they had to keep,

Which their own heart, then others set on fire,

Their trait’rous black before thee here out-weep;

These locks, of blushing deeds the gilt attire,

Waves curling, wrackful shelves to shadow deep,

Rings wedding souls to sin’s lethargic sleep,

To touch thy sacred feet do now aspire.

In seas of care behold a sinking bark,

By winds of sharp remorse unto thee driven,

O let me not be Ruin’s aim’d-at mark!

My faults confessed, Lord, say they are forgiven.’

Thus sighed to Jesus the Bethanian fair,

His tear-wet feet still drying with her hair.