John Bannister Tabb

(1845-1909 / the United States)

Magdalen (After Swinburne) - Poem by John Bannister Tabb

'She hath done what she could.'
It was thus that He spake of her,
Trembling and pale as the penitent stood.
'And this she hath done shall be told for the sake of her,
Told as embalmed in the gift that I take of her,
Take, as an earnest of all that she would
Who hath done what she could.


'She hath done what she could:
Lo, the flame that hath driven her
Downward, is quenched! and her grief like a flood
In the strength of a rain-swollen torrent hath shriven her:
Much hath she loved and much is forgiven her;
Love in the longing fulfils what it would-
She hath done what she could.'


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, September 1, 2010



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