MARIE MAGDALENE.           

WHEN blessed Marie wipíd her Saviours feet,
(Whose precepts she had trampled on before)
And wore them for a jewell on her head,
    Shewing his steps should be the street,
    Wherein she thenceforth evermore
With pensive humblenesse would live and tread :

Mary Magdalen

She being stainíd herself, why did she strive
To make him clean, who could not be defilíd?
Why kept she not her tears for her own faults,
    And not his feet? Though we could dive
    In tears like seas, our sinnes are pilíd
Deeper than they, in words, and works, and thoughts.

Deare soul, she knew who did vouchsafe and deigne
To bear her filth ; and that her sinnes did dash
Evín God himself ; wherefore she was not loth,
    As she had brought wherewith to stain,
    So to bring in wherewith to wash :
And yet in washing one, she washed both.



Source:
Herbert, George. The Poetical Works of George Herbert.
New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1857. 221-222.

Engraving designed by John Clayton ; Engraved by Dalziel Brothers.



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