William Cullen Bryant

(November 3, 1794 – June 12, 1878 / Boston)

Mary Magdalen - Poem by William Cullen Bryant

FROM THE SPANISH OF BARTOLOME LEONARDO DE ARGENSOLA.


Blessed, yet sinful one, and broken-hearted!
The crowd are pointing at the thing forlorn,
In wonder and in scorn!
Thou weepest days of innocence departed;
Thou weepest, and thy tears have power to move
The Lord to pity and love.

The greatest of thy follies is forgiven,
Even for the least of all the tears that shine
On that pale cheek of thine.
Thou didst kneel down, to Him who came from heaven,
Evil and ignorant, and thou shalt rise
Holy, and pure, and wise.

It is not much that to the fragrant blossom
The ragged brier should change; the bitter fir
Distil Arabian myrrh!
Nor that, upon the wintry desert's bosom,
The harvest should rise plenteous, and the swain
Bear home the abundant grain.

But come and see the bleak and barren mountains
Thick to their tops with roses: come and see
Leaves on the dry dead tree:
The perished plant, set out by living fountains,
Grows fruitful, and its beauteous branches rise,
For ever, towards the skies.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 5, 2010



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