Filled with his words that flow in light,
Her heart will break or cry:
A woman’s cry bursts forth in might
Of loving agony.
“Blessed the womb, Thee, Lord, that bore!
The breast where Thou hast fed!”
Storm-like those words the silence tore,
Though words the silence bred.
He ceases, listens to the cry,
And knows from whence it springs;
A woman’s heart that glad would die
For this her best of things.
Yet there is better than the birth
Of such a mighty son;
Better than know, of all the earth
Thyself the chosen one.
“Yea, rather, blessed they that hear,
And keep the word of God.”
The voice was gentle, not severe:
No answer came abroad.
THE MOTHER OP ZEBEDEE’S CHILDREN.
Ah mother! for thy children bold,
But doubtful of thy quest,
Thou begg’st a boon ere it be told,
Avoiding wisdom’s test.
Though love is strong to bring thee nigh,
Ambition makes thee doubt;
Ambition dulls the prophet-eye;
It casts the unseen out.
Not that in thousands he be one,
Uplift in lonely state—
Seek great things, mother, for thy son,
Because the things are great.
For ill to thee thy prayers avail,
If granted to thy will;
Ill which thy ignorance would hail,
Or good thou countedst ill.
Them thou wouldst see in purple pride,
Worshipped on every hand;
Their honours mighty but to hide
The evil of the land.
Or wouldst thou thank for granted quest,
Counting thy prayer well heard,
If of the three on Calvary’s crest
They shared the first and third?
Let them, O mother, safety win;
They are not safe with thee;
Thy love would shut their glory in;
His love would set it free.
God keeps his thrones for men of strength,
Men that are fit to rule;
Who, in obedience ripe at length,
Have passed through all his school.
Yet higher than thy love can dare,
His love thy sons would set:
They who his cup and baptism share
May share his kingdom yet.
THE SYROPHENICIAN WOMAN.
“Bestow her prayer, and let her go;
She crieth after us.”
Nay, to the dogs ye cast it so;
Help not a woman thus.
Their pride, by condescension fed,
He speaks with truer tongue:
“It is not meet the children’s bread
Should to the dogs be flung.”
She, too, shall share the hurt of good,
Her spirit, too, be rent,
That these proud men their evil mood
May see, and so repent.
And that the hidden faith in her
May burst in soaring flame,
From childhood truer, holier,
If birthright not the same.
If for herself had been her prayer,
She might have turned away;
But oh! the woman-child she bare
Was now the demon’s prey.