A woman in her youth, but lost to all
The joys of innocence. Love she had known,
Such love as leaves the soul filled full of shame.
Passion was hers, hate and impurity,
The gnawing of remorse, the longing vain
To lose the mark of sin, the scarlet flush
Of fallen womanhood, the envy of
The spotless, the desire that they might sink
Low in the mire as she.
Oh, what a soul
She carried on that day! The women drew
Their robes back from her touch, men leered,
And children seemed afraid to meet
The devilish beauty of her form and face.
Shunned and alone,
Till One came to her side,
And spake her name, and took her hand in His.
And what He said
Is past the telling. There are things the heart
Knows well, but cannot blazon to the world;
And when He went His way,
Upon her brow, where shame had lain,
Was set the one sweet word: