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The Poetical Works of George MacDonald

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I read good books. My heart despairs.

In vain I try to dress

My soul in feelings like to theirs--

These men of holiness.

My thoughts, like doves, abroad I fling

Into a country fair:

Wind-baffled, back, with tired wing,

They to my ark repair.

Or comes a sympathetic thrill

With long-departed saint,

A feeble dawn, without my will,

Of feelings old and quaint,

As of a church's holy night,

With low-browed chapels round,

Where common sunshine dares not light

On the too sacred ground,--

glance at sunny fields of grain, One shout of child at play--

A merry melody drives amain

The one-toned chant away!

My spirit will not enter here

To haunt the holy gloom;

I gaze into a mirror mere,

A mirror, not a room.

as a bird against the pane Will strike, deceived sore,

I think to enter, but remain

Outside the closed door.

it will call for many a sigh If it be what it claims--

This book, so unlike earth and sky,

Unlike man's hopes and aims!--

To me a desert parched and bare--

In which a spirit broods

Whose wisdom I would gladly share

At cost of many goods!

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