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The Poetical Works of George MacDonald

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Another to the witnesses' roll-call Hath answered, "Here I am!" and so stept out-- With willingness crowned everywhere about, Not the head only, but the body all, In one great nimbus of obedient fall, His heart's blood dashing in the face of doubt-- Love's last victorious stand amid the rout! --Silence is left, and the untasted gall. No chariot with ramping steeds of fire The Father sent to fetch his man-child home; His brother only called, "My Gordon, come!" And like a dove to heaven he did aspire, His one wing Death, his other, Heart's-desire. --Farewell a while! we climb where thou hast clomb!


Methought I floated sightless, nor did know That I had ears until I heard the cry As of a mighty man in agony: "How long, Lord, shall I lie thus foul and slow? The arrows of thy lightning through me go, And sting and torture me--yet here I lie A shapeless mass that scarce can mould a sigh!" The darkness thinned; I saw a thing below Like sheeted corpse, a knot at head and feet. Slow clomb the sun the mountains of the dead, And looked upon the world: the silence broke! A blinding struggle! then the thunderous beat Of great exulting pinions stroke on stroke! And from that world a mighty angel fled.


Methought that in a solemn church I stood. Its marble acres, worn with knees and feet, Lay spread from door to door, from street to street. Midway the form hung high upon the rood Of him who gave his life to be our good; Beyond, priests flitted, bowed, and murmured meet, Among the candles shining still and sweet. Men came and went, and worshipped as they could-- And still their dust a woman with her broom, Bowed to her work, kept sweeping to the door. Then saw I, slow through all the pillared gloom, Across the church a silent figure come: "Daughter," it said, "thou sweepest well my floor!" It is the Lord! I cried, and saw no more.


Mourn not, my friends, that we are growing old: A fresher birth brings every new year in. Years are Christ's napkins to wipe off the sin. See now, I'll be to you an angel bold! My plumes are ruffled, and they shake with cold, Yet with a trumpet-blast I will begin. --Ah, no; your listening ears not thus I win! Yet hear, sweet sisters; brothers, be consoled:-- Behind me comes a shining one indeed; Christ's friend, who from life's cross did take him down, And set upon his day night's starry crown! Death, say'st thou? Nay--thine be no caitiff creed!-- A woman-angel! see--in long white gown! The mother of our youth!--she maketh speed.

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