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The Poetical Works of George MacDonald

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Thrice-happy he whose heart, each new-born night, When old-worn day hath vanished o'er earth's brim, And he hath laid him down in chamber dim, Straightway begins to tremble and grow bright, And loose faint flashes toward the vaulted height Of the great peace that overshadoweth him: Keen lambent flames of hope awake and swim Throughout his soul, touching each point with light! The great earth under him an altar is, Upon whose top a sacrifice he lies, Burning in love's response up to the skies Whose fire descended first and kindled his: When slow the flickering flames at length expire, Sleep's ashes only hide a glowing fire.


"I do beseech thee, God, show me thy face." "Come up to me in Sinai on the morn! Thou shall behold as much as may be borne." And on a rock stood Moses, lone in space. From Sinai's top, the vaporous, thunderous place, God passed in cloud, an earthy garment worn To hide, and thus reveal. In love, not scorn, He put him in a clift of the rock's base, Covered him with his hand, his eyes to screen-- Passed--lifted it: his back alone appears! Ah, Moses, had he turned, and hadst thou seen The pale face crowned with thorns, baptized with tears, The eyes of the true man, by men belied, Thou hadst beheld God's face, and straightway died!


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