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    The Woman Who Came Behind Him in the Crowd

    by George MacDonald
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    Near him she stole, rank after rank;
    She feared approach too loud;
    She touched his garment's hem, and shrank
    Back in the sheltering crowd.

    A trembling joy goes through her frame:
    Her twelve years' fainting prayer
    Is heard at last; she is the same
    As other women there.

    She hears his voice; He looks about.
    Ah! is it kind or good
    To bring her secret sorrow out
    Before that multitude?

    With open love, not secret cure,
    The Lord of hearts would bless;
    With age-long gladness, deep and sure,
    With wealth of tenderness.

    Her shame can find no shelter meet;
    Their eyes her soul appal:
    Forward she sped, and at his feet
    Fell down, and told Him all.

    His presence made a holy place;
    No alien eyes were there;
    Her shamed-faced grief found godlike grace;
    More sorrow, tenderer care.

    "Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole;
    Go, and be well, and glad."
    Ah, Lord! if we had faith, our soul
    Not often would be sad.

    Thou knowest all our hidden grief
    Which none but Thee can know;
    Thy knowledge, Lord, is our relief;
    Thy love destroys our woe.
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