The Syrophenician Woman - Poem by George MacDonald
'Grant, Lord, her prayer, and let her go;
She crieth after us.'
Nay, to the dogs ye cast it so;
Serve not a woman thus.
Their pride, by condescension fed,
He shapes with teaching tongue:
'It is not meet the children's bread
To little dogs be flung.'
The words, for tender heart so sore,
His voice did seem to rue;
The gentle wrath his countenance wore,
With her had not to do.
He makes her share the hurt of good,
Takes what she would have lent,
That those proud men their evil mood
May see, and so repent;
And that the hidden faith in her
May burst in soaring flame:
With childhood deeper, holier,
Is birthright not the same?
Ill names, of proud religion born-
She'll wear the worst that comes;
Will clothe her, patient, in their scorn,
To share the healing crumbs!
'Truth, Lord; and yet the puppies small
Under the table eat
The crumbs the little ones let fall-
That is not thought unmeet.'
The prayer rebuff could not amate
Was not like water spilt:
'O woman, but thy faith is great!
Be it even as thou wilt.'
Thrice happy she who yet will dare,
Who, baffled, prayeth still!
He, if he may, will grant her prayer
In fulness of
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