Mary Magdalen

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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,
  For ever, towards the skies.

© William Cullen Bryant