The New Penelope/Making Moan
I have learned how vainly given
Life's most precious things may be.
O, Christ, to-night I bring
A sad, weak heart, to lay before thy feet;
Too sad, almost, to cling
Even to Thee; too suffering,
If Thou shouldst pierce me, to regard the sting;
Too stunned to feel the pity I entreat
Closing around me its embraces sweet.
Shepherd, who gatherest up
The weary ones from all the world's highways;
And bringest them to sup
Of Thy bread, and Thy blessed cup;
If so Thou will, lay me within the scope
Only of Thy great tenderness, that rays
Too melting may not reach me from Thy face.
Here let me lie, and press
My forehead's pain out on Thy mantle's hem;
And chide not my distress,
For this, that I have loved thee less,
In loving so much some, whose sordidness
Has left me outcast, at the last, from them
And their poor love, which I cannot contemn.
No, cannot, even now,
Put Thee before them in my broken heart.
But, gentle Shepherd, Thou
Dost even such as I allow
The healing of Thy presence. Let my brow
Be covered from thy sight, while I, apart,
Brood over in dull pain my mortal hurt.