The Website for Book Lovers
google ad

The Poetical Works of George MacDonald (Parables)

Home - George MacDonald - The Poetical Works of George MacDonald (Parables)

Prev | Next | Contents


I will not look on her nearer, My heart would be torn in twain; From my eyes the garden would vanish In the falling of their rain.

I will not look on a sorrow That darkens into despair,
On the surge of a heart that cannot Yet cannot cease to bear.

My soul to hers would be calling: She would hear no word it said! If I cried aloud in the stillness She would never turn her head!

She is dreaming the sky above her, She is dreaming the earth below:-- This night she lost her lover A hundred years ago.


Everything goes to its rest;

  The hills are asleep in the noon; And life is as still in its nest

  As the moon when she looks on a moon In the depth of a calm river's breast

  As it steals through a midnight in June.

The streams have forgotten the sea

  In the dream of their musical sound; The sunlight is thick on the tree,

  And the shadows lie warm on the ground,-- So still, you may watch them and see

  Every breath that awakens around.

The churchyard lies still in the heat,

  With its handful of mouldering bone, As still as the long stalk of wheat

  In the shadow that sits by the stone, As still as the grass at my feet

  When I walk in the meadows alone.

The waves are asleep on the main,

  And the ships are asleep on the wave; And the thoughts are as still in my brain

  As the echo that sleeps in the cave; All rest from their labour and pain--

  Then why should not I in my grave?


Who lights the fire--that forth so gracefully

And freely frolicketh the fairy smoke? Some pretty one who never felt the yoke--

Glad girl, or maiden more sedate than she.

Pedant it cannot, villain cannot be!

Some genius, may-be, his own symbol woke; But puritan, nor rogue in virtue's cloke,

Nor kitchen-maid has done it certainly!

Ha, ha! you cannot find the lighter out

For all the blue smoke's pantomimic gesture-- His name or nature, sex or age or vesture!

The fire was lit by human care, no doubt--

But now the smoke is Nature's tributary, Dancing 'twixt man and nothing like a fairy.


Who would have thought that even an idle song

Were such a holy and celestial thing That wickedness and envy cannot sing--

That music for no moment lives with wrong? I know this, for a very grievous throng,

Dark thoughts, low wishes, round my bosom cling, And, underneath, the hidden holy spring

Stagnates because of their enchantment strong.

Blow, breath of heaven, on all this poison blow!

And, heart, glow upward to this gracious breath! Between them, vanish, mist of sin and death,

And let the life of life within me flow!

Love is the green earth, the celestial air, And music runs like dews and rivers there!


Prev | Next | Contents