[Written for the Sentinel]

The Awakening

And can it be but yesterday the Magdalene was I?
How came I so it were not good to tell;
Sufficeth it that now I know full well
'Twas but an empty life of shame I led
When daily on men's wiles and smiles I fed;
A nightmare in earth's short and transient dream.

How different was the smile of him at meat
When, trembling sore, I stood me at his feet,
Shrinking from the pure gaze that read my past,
But drawn by love so great it held me fast!
Fearful of Pharisee, my foe 'mongst men,
I only gathered faltering courage when
The Christ to me in tender accents spoke,
And o'er his feet the alabaster broke.

He bade me go in peace, the peace of heaven.
And so, tho' down the ages I am read
As Mary Magdalene, who blindly led
An earthly life unworthy of her best,
And bartered virtue, but could find no rest,
This comfort mine: where'er the tale is told
The radiance of the Christ-smile will enfold;
And in that smile lies buried all the past,—
The truth I claim, for this I know at last.

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September 20, 1913

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