’Twas within a Hebrew palace,
At a Hebrew ruler’s board,
From her alabaster chalice
Magdalen the ointment poured.
Flowed the precious perfume, filling
All the air with odours sweet;
But, from Mary’s eyes distilling,
Poured an offering far more meet,
Even than the costly ointment,
For the worn and weary feet
Of the Blessed Lord.
Humbly weeping, humbly loving,
Meek she kneeled beside Him there;
Tears and perfume both removing
With her soft and clustering hair.
But there wakened thoughts of evil
In the minds of the Eleven;
And the first to scorn or cavil
Spake the traitor—cursed of Heaven:—
“How much better were this ointment
“Vended, and the money given
“For the poor to share!”
Thus Iscariot reproved her,
Thinking, “T’would my store increase:”"
But when Jesus looked, He loved her,
And He bade their murmurs cease;
Saying. “Not for her preferment
Doth she here before Me bow,
But it is for Mine interment
That she thus anoints Me now.”
Then he uttered, turning toward her
That divine and gentle brow,
“Mary, go in peace!”
Who doth love shall be forgiven;
HE hath mercy still in store,
HE hath boundless power in Heaven
Whom the cross on Calvary bore.
Earthly love may fail to ease you
When you bend in your despair
But the gentle heart of JESU
Turneth never from a prayer.
To the asker all is granted;
He who seeketh findeth there
Rest for evermore.
Lamb of God! Our Priest and Pastor,
Who canst bid all evil cease,
Ever dear and holy Master,
Make our feeble love increase!
So that when we seek Thee, owning
That Thy wrath is our deserts,
Thou, blest Lord, at whose atonement
All iniquity departs,
Mayest speak from thine enthronement,
To our rent and wearied hearts,
“Sinner, go in peace!”