Martha - Poem by George MacDonald
With joyful pride her heart is high:
Her humble house doth hold
The man her nation's prophecy
Long ages hath foretold!
Poor, is he? Yes, and lowly born:
Her woman-soul is proud
To know and hail the coming morn
Before the eyeless crowd.
At her poor table will he eat?
He shall be served there
With honour and devotion meet
For any king that were!
'Tis all she can; she does her part,
Profuse in sacrifice;
Nor dreams that in her unknown heart
A better offering lies.
But many crosses she must bear;
Her plans are turned and bent;
Do what she can, things will not wear
The form of her intent.
With idle hands and drooping lid,
See Mary sit at rest!
Shameful it was her sister did
No service for their guest!
Dear Martha, one day Mary's lot
Must rule thy hands and eyes;
Thou, all thy household cares forgot,
Must sit as idly wise!
But once more first she set her word
To bar her master's ways,
Crying, 'By this he stinketh, Lord,
He hath been dead four days!'
Her housewife-soul her brother dear
Would fetter where he lies!
Ah, did her buried best then hear,
And with the dead man rise?
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