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Motherhood

Mary,the Christ long slain,passed silently,
Following the children joyous 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, not knowing :
Who art thou, mother of so sweet a flower?'--
' I am the mother of Iscariot.'

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