THE WOMAN THAT WAS A SINNER.
- face, his words, her heart awoke; Awoke her slumbering truth;
- judged him well; her bonds she broke, And fled to him for ruth.
With tears she washed his weary feet;
She wiped them with her hair;
- kisses--call them not unmeet, When they were welcome there.
What saint a richer crown could throw
At his love-royal feet!
- tears, her lips, her hair, down go, His reign begun to greet.
- holy manhood's perfect worth Owns her a woman still;
It is impossible henceforth
For her to stoop to ill.
- to herself his words restore, The radiance to the day;
A horror to herself no more,
Not yet a cast-away!
- hands and kisses, ointment, tears, Her gathered wiping hair,
- love, her shame, her hopes, her fears, Mingle in worship rare.
Thou, Mary, too, thy hair didst spread
To wipe the anointed feet;
- didst thou only bless his head With precious spikenard sweet.
- none say thou thy tears didst pour To wash his parched feet first;
Of tears thou couldst not have such store
As from this woman burst!
If not in love she first be read,
Her queen of sorrow greet;
Mary, do thou anoint his head,
And let her crown his feet.
Simon, her kisses will not soil;
Her tears are pure as rain;
- hair for him she did uncoil Had been baptized in pain.
- God hath pardoned her so much, Love all her being stirs!
- love to his poor child is such That it hath wakened hers!
- oh, rejoice, ye sisters pure, Who scarce can know her case--
There is no sin but has its cure,
Its all-consuming grace!
He did not leave her soul in hell,
'Mong shards the silver dove;
- raised her pure that she might tell Her sisters how to love!
- gave him all your best love can! Despised, rejected, sad--
Sure, never yet had mighty man
Such homage as he had!
Jesus, by whose forgiveness sweet,
Her love grew so intense,
Earth's sinners all come round thy feet:
Lord, make no difference!