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The Syrophenician Woman

"Bestow her prayer, and let her go;
She crieth after us."
Nay, to the dogs ye cast it so;
Help not a woman thus.

Their pride, by condescension fed,
He speaks with truer tongue:
"It is not meet the children's bread
Should to the dogs be flung."

She, too, shall share the hurt of good,
Her spirit, too, be rent,
That these proud men their evil mood
May see, and so repent.

And that the hidden faith in her
May burst in soaring flame,
From childhood truer, holier,
If birthright not the same.

If for herself had been her prayer,
She might have turned away;
But oh! the woman-child she bare
Was now the demon's prey.

She crieth still; gainsays no words
Contempt can hurt withal;
The daughter's woe her strength affords,
And woe nor strength is small.

Ill names, of proud religion born,
She'll wear the worst that comes;
Will clothe her, patient, in their scorn,
To share the healing crumbs.

And yet the tone of words so sore
The words themselves did rue;
His face a gentle sadness wore,
As if He suffered too.

Mother, thy agony of care
He justifies from ill;
Thou wilt not yield?--He grants the prayer
In fullness of thy will.

Ah Lord! if I my hope of weal
Upon thy goodness built,
Thy will perchance my will would seal,
And say: Be it as thou wilt.



George MacDonald