Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > Anthology of Massachusetts Poets
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. (1878–1962).  Anthology of Massachusetts Poets.  1922.
 
Motherhood
 
Agnes Lee
 
 
MARY, the Christ long slain, passed silently.
Following the children joyously 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,        5
She saw a little Christ in every face;
When lo, another woman, gliding near,
Yearned o’er the tender life that filled the place.
And Mary sought the woman’s hand, and spoke:
“I know thee not, yet know thy memory tossed        10
With all a thousand dreams their eyes evoke
Who bring to thee a child beloved and lost.
 
  “I, too, have rocked my little one,
  O, He was fair!
  Yea, fairer than the fairest sun,        15
  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,”—        20
  And Mary smiled,—
  “So soft, so clinging! Glad relays
  Of love were all His precious days.
  My little child!
  My infinite star! My music fled!”        25
  “Even so was mine,” the woman said.
 
  Then whispered Mary: “Tell me, thou,
  Of thine.” And she:
  “O, mine was rosy as a bough
  Blooming with roses, sent, somehow,        30
  To bloom for me!
  His balmy fingers left a thrill
  Within my breast that warms me still.”
 
  Then gazed she down some wilder, darker hour,
  And said, when Mary questioned, knowing not,        35
  “Who art thou, mother of so sweet a flower?”
  “I am the mother of Iscariot.”
 

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