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 Save the mournful sackcloth about her wound,
Unclothed as the primal mother,
With limbs that trembled and eyes that blazed
With a fire she dare not smother.
Loose on her shoulders fell her hair,
With sprinkled ashes gray;
She stood in the broad aisle strange and weird
As a soul at the judgment day.
And the minister paused in his sermon's midst,
And the people held their breath,
For these were the words the maiden spoke
Through lips as the lips of death:
“Thus saith the Lord, with equal feet
All men my courts shall tread,
And priest and ruler no more shall eat
My people up like bread!
Repent! repent! ere the Lord shall speak
In thunder and breaking seals!
Let all souls worship Him in the way
His light within reveals. “
She shook the dust from her naked feet,
And her sackcloth closer drew,
And into the porch of the awe-hushed church
She passed like a ghost from view.
They whipped her away at the tail oa the cart
Through half the streets of the town,
But the words she uttered that day nor fire
Could burn nor water drown.
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