Verse > Anthologies > W. Garrett Horder, ed. > The Poets’ Bible: New Testament
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W. Garrett Horder, comp.  The Poets’ Bible: New Testament.  1895.
 
Martha
George MacDonald (1824–1905)
 
WITH joyful pride her heart is high:
  Her humble chambers hold
The man prophetic destiny
  Long centuries hath foretold.
 
Poor, is he? Yes, and lowly born:        5
  Her woman-soul is proud
To know and hail the coming morn
  Before the eyeless crowd.
 
At her poor table will he eat?
  He shall be served there        10
With honour and devotion meet
  For any king that were.
 
’Tis all she can; she does her part,
  Profuse in sacrifice;
Nor knows that in her unknown heart        15
  A better offering lies.
 
But many crosses she must bear;
  Her plans are turned and bent;
Do all she can, things will not wear
  The form of her intent.        20
 
With idle hands, and drooping lid,
  See Mary sit at rest!
Shameful it was her sister did
  No service for their guest.
 
But Martha one day Mary’s lot        25
  Must share with hands and eyes,
Must—all her household cares forgot—
  Sit down as idly wise.
 
Ere long they both in Jesus’ ear
  Shall make the self-same moan:        30
“Lord, if thou only hadst been here,
  My brother had not gone.”
 
Then once will Martha set her word,
  Yet once, to bar his ways,
Crying, “By this he stinketh, Lord;        35
  He hath been dead four days.”
 
When Lazarus drags his trammelled clay
  Forth with half-opened eyes,
Her buried best will hear, obey,
  And with the dead man rise.        40
 
 
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