Divine and Human Pleading

" I would the saints could hear our prayers!
If such a thing might be,
O blessed Mary Magdalene,
I would appeal to thee!

" For once in lowly penitence
Thy head was bowed with shame;
But now thou hast a glorious place,
And hast an unknown name. "

So mused a trembling contrite man,
So mused he wearily;
By angels borne his thoughts appeared
Before the Throne on high.

*****

The calm, still night was at its noon,
And all men were at rest,
When came before the sleeper's eyes
A vision of the blest.

A woman stood beside his bed,
Her breath was fragrance all;
Round her the light was very bright,
The air was musical.

Her footsteps shone upon the stars,
Her robe was spotless white;
Her breast was radiant with the Cross,
Her head with living light.

Her eyes beamed with a sacred fire;
And on her shoulders fair,
From underneath her golden crown
Clustered her golden hair.

Yet on her bosom her white hands
Were folded quietly;
Yet was her glorious head bowed low
In deep humility.

Long time she looked upon the ground;
Then raising her bright eyes
Her voice came forth as sweet and soft
As music when it dies.

" O thou who in thy secret hour
Hast dared to think that aught
Is faulty in God's perfect plan,
And perfect in thy thought!

" Thou who the pleadings would'st prefer
Of one sin-stained like me
To His Who is the Lord of Life,
To His Who died for thee!

" In mercy I am sent from Heaven:
Be timely wise, and learn
To seek His love Who waits for thee,
Inviting thy return.

" Well know I His long-suffering
And intercession's worth;
My guilt was as a heavy chain
That bound me to the earth.

" It was a clog upon my feet,
To keep me from Life's path;
It was a stain upon my hands,
A curse upon my hearth.

" But there is mighty Power and Grace
Can loose the heavy chain,
Can free the feet, can cleanse the hands,
Can purge the hearth again.

" Weeping I sought the Lord of Life,
Bowed with my shame and sin;
And then unto my wondering heart
Love's searching fire came in.

" It was with deep repentance,
I knelt down at His Feet
Who can change the sorrow into joy,
The bitter into sweet.

" I had cast away my jewels
And my rich attire;
And my breast was filled with a holy flame,
And my heart with a holy fire.

" My tears were more precious
Than my precious pearls; —
My tears that fell upon His Feet
As I wiped Them with my curls.

" My youth and my beauty
Were budding to their prime;
But I wept for the great transgression,
The sin of other time.

" Trembling betwixt hope and fear,
I sought the King of Heaven;
Forsook the evil of my ways,
Loved much, and was forgiven.

" In hope and fear I went to Him,
He broke and healed my heart;
No man was there to intercede;
As I was, so thou art. "
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