Wonderful Child, The - Part 4

All that night the Magdalene
Turned and turned her with bitter teen
On her bed of Damascus silk and amber,
As though she lay in a prison chamber,
Upon a pallet of straw, for so
Did her sharp dreams harry her to and fro.
And herseemed that bird-of-paradise
Wrought with jewels and pearls of price,
She bartered for a box full fair
Of alabaster pure and rare,
Filled with spikenard to the brim
Sweet as the breath of Seraphim.
And saith she in her troubled sleep,
" This precious ointment I must keep
Against the piteous burying
Of one more great than any King, —
Of one to whom proud Caesar's power
Will bend as to the wind a flower. "
And lo! In her dream, the wondrous child,
With a crown of thorns on his forehead mild,
Seemed to whisper: " I am He
Thou seekest Mary: Follow me. "
Then cried Mary: " Rabboni! — Yea,
I will follow thee all the bitter way;
I will follow thee to my parting breath,
Sweet King Jesus of Nazareth, —
And when I have found thee again, dear Lord,
Thy head I'll anoint with this precious nard,
But thy feet I'll wash with tears instead,
And wipe them with the hairs of my head! "
Then did she hear that sweet Voice say:
" And I will wash thy sins away. "
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