The Gospel Women. - The Woman That Was A Sinner

A poem by George MacDonald

His face, his words, her heart awoke;
Awoke her slumbering truth;
She judged him well; her bonds she broke,
And fled to him for ruth.

With tears she washed his weary feet;
She wiped them with her hair;
Her kisses--call them not unmeet,
When they were welcome there.

What saint a richer crown could throw
At his love-royal feet!
Her tears, her lips, her hair, down go,
His reign begun to greet.

His holy manhood's perfect worth
Owns her a woman still;
It is impossible henceforth
For her to stoop to ill.

Her to herself his words restore,
The radiance to the day;
A horror to herself no more,
Not yet a cast-away!

Her hands and kisses, ointment, tears,
Her gathered wiping hair,
Her love, her shame, her hopes, her fears,
Mingle in worship rare.

Thou, Mary, too, thy hair didst spread
To wipe the anointed feet;
Nor didst thou only bless his head
With precious spikenard sweet.

But none say thou thy tears didst pour
To wash his parched feet first;
Of tears thou couldst not have such store
As from this woman burst!

If not in love she first be read,
Her queen of sorrow greet;
Mary, do thou anoint his head,
And let her crown his feet.

Simon, her kisses will not soil;
Her tears are pure as rain;
The hair for him she did uncoil
Had been baptized in pain.

Lo, God hath pardoned her so much,
Love all her being stirs!
His love to his poor child is such
That it hath wakened hers!

But oh, rejoice, ye sisters pure,
Who scarce can know her case--
There is no sin but has its cure,
Its all-consuming grace!

He did not leave her soul in hell,
'Mong shards the silver dove;
But raised her pure that she might tell
Her sisters how to love!

She gave him all your best love can!
Despised, rejected, sad--
Sure, never yet had mighty man
Such homage as he had!

Jesus, by whose forgiveness sweet,
Her love grew so intense,
Earth's sinners all come round thy feet:
Lord, make no difference!

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