by Agnes Lee
Mary, the Christ long slain, passed silently,
Following the children joyously astir
Under the cedrus and the olive tree,
Pausing to let their laughter float to her-
Each voice an echo of a voice more dear,
She saw a little Christ in every face.
Then came another woman gliding near
To watch the tender life which filled the place.
And Mary sought the woman's hand, and spoke:
"I know thee not, yet know thy memory tossed
With all a thousand dreams their eyes evoke
Who bring to thee a child beloved and lost.
"I, too, have rocked my Little One.
And He was fair!
Oh, fairer than the fairest sun,
And, like its rays through amber spun,
His sun-bright hair.
Still I can see it shine and shine."
"Even so," the woman said, "was mine."
"His ways were ever darling ways" -
And Mary smiled -
"So soft, so clinging! Glad relays
Of love were all His precious days.
My little Child!
My vanished star! My music fled!"
"Even so was mine," the woman said.
And Mary whispered: "Tell me, thou,
Of thine." And she:
"Oh, mine was rosy as a bough
Blooming with roses, sent, somehow,
To bloom for me!
His balmy fingers left a thrill
Deep in my breast that warms me still."
Then she gazed down some wilder, darker hour,
And said - when Mary questioned, knowing not:
"Who art thou, mother of so sweet a flower?" -
"I am the mother of Iscariot."
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