Thursday, 20 December 2018

Mary Magdalen - Bartolomé Leonardo de Argensola

Blessed, yet sinful one, and broken-hearted!
    The crowd are pointing at the thing forlorn,
    In wonder and in scorn!
Thou weepest days of innocence departed;
    Thou weepest, and thy tears have power to move
    The Lord to pity and love.

The greatest of thy follies is forgiven,
    Even for the least of all the tears that shine
    On that pale cheek of thine.
Thou didst kneel down to Him who came from heaven,
    Evil and ignorant, and thou shalt rise
    Holy, and pure, and wise.

It is not much that to the fragrant blossom
    The ragged brier should change; the bitter fir
    Distil Arabian myrrh;
Nor that, upon the wintry desert’s bosom,
    The harvest should rise plenteous, and the swain
    Bear home the abundant grain.

But come and see the bleak and barren mountains
    Thick to their tops with roses: come and see
    Leaves on the dry dead tree.
The perished plant, set out by living fountains,
    Grows fruitful, and its beauteous branches rise
    Forever towards the skies.

Bartolomé Leonardo de Argensola (1562–1631) Spain
Translated by William Cullen Bryant
Source: The Poets’ Bible: New Testament, third edition, edited by W. Garrett Horder. London: Ward, Lock & Bowden, 1895

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