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W. Garrett Horder, comp. The Poets’ Bible: New Testament. 1895.

The Woman Who Came Behind Him in the Crowd

George MacDonald (1824–1905)

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 shame-faced gladness thrills 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 drag her secret sorrow out

Before that multitude?

The eyes of men she dares not meet—

On her they straight must fall:

Forward she sped, and at his feet

Fell down, and told him all.

His presence makes a holy place;

No alien eyes are there;

Her shrinking shame finds god-like grace

The covert of its care.

“Daughter,” he said, “be of good cheer;

Thy faith hath made thee whole,”

With plenteous love, not healing mere,

He would content her soul.