Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SPOIL, by WILLIAM E. BROOKS

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

SPOIL, by            
First Line: Fair spoil I thought him as I reached the well
Last Line: "peace! . . . And two hours ago I thought him spoil!"
Subject(s): Mary Magdalen; Religion; Women In The Bible; Mary Magdalene; Theology

"Fair spoil I thought Him as I reached the well,
Upstanding, tall, and vigorous of tread;
Wanderers like Him had often found me there,
And spent their desert gold with reckless hand
In wild delight. His burnous veiled His face,
I could not see His eyes as I came in,
But after the ancient fashion of my trade
I smiled and dropped a corner of my veil.
Ah, He would think me fair, like a garden fair,
My eyes like the eyes of doves, a scarlet thread
My lips that waited for His first hot kiss:
And then . . . I saw His face! Not man like that
Had ever crossed my path. His words were filled
With courtesy and ancient kindly grace,
As though He thought of His mother seeing me.
I gave him drink to slake the hot day's thirst,
Then something happened I cannot understand.
For He talked of living water from strange wells
Deep in the heart of God; and as He talked
I knew a thirst like none I had known before,
But not for the old delight that filled my days.
Strange how the scarlet paled beneath His eyes,
How gay things withered to a scorned contempt!
And hours I thought so fair came trooping back,
Like grinning goblins in a ghostly night,
Pointing their horrid fingers, crying shame.
I felt soul-stripped and naked in His sight,
A leprous thing His hands could never touch --
And yet His eyes were tender as He spoke.
I go to tell the town that knows me well.
(Strange herald I, to go before His face)
The sun burns hot . . . my head reels . . . is it the sun?
I hope He stays here yet another day,
For if He does perhaps I shall find peace. . . .
Peace! . . . and two hours ago I thought Him spoil!"

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