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The Poetical Works of George MacDonald

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I turn me to the gospel-tale:--

My hope is faint with fear

That hungriest search will not avail

To find a refuge here.

A misty wind blows bare and rude

From dead seas of the past;

through the clouds that halt and brood, Dim dawns a shape at last:

A sad worn man who bows his face,

And treads a frightful path,

To save an abject hopeless race

From an eternal wrath.

Kind words he speaks--but all the time

As from a formless height

To which no human foot can climb--

Half-swathed in ancient night.

Nay, sometimes, and to gentle heart,

Unkind words from him go!

Surely it is no saviour's part

To speak to women so!

Much rather would I refuge take

With Mary, dear to me,

To whom that rough hard speech he spake--

What have I to do with thee?

Surely I know men tenderer,

Women of larger soul,

need no prayer their hearts to stir, Who always would make whole!

Oftenest he looks a weary saint,

Embalmed in pallid gleam;

Listless and sad, without complaint,

Like dead man in a dream.

And, at the best, he is uplift

A spectacle, a show:--

worth of such an outworn gift I know too much to know!
find the love to pay my debt?-- He leads me from the sun!--
it is hard men should forget A good deed ever done!--

Forget that he, to foil a curse,

Did, on that altar-hill,

of a sunless universe,
Hang dying, patient, still!
what is He, whose pardon slow At so much blood is priced?--

If such thou art, O Jove, I go

To the Promethean Christ!

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