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The Poetical Works of George MacDonald (Parables)

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To speak of him in language of our own, Is not for us too daringly to try; But, Saviour, we can read thy history Upon the faces round thy humble throne; And as the flower among the grass makes known What summer suns have warmed it from the sky, As every human smile and human sigh Is witness that we do not live alone, So in that company--in those sweet tears, The first-born of a rugged melted heart, In those gaunt chains for ever torn apart, And in the words that weeping mother hears, We read the story of two thousand years, And know thee somewhat, Saviour, as thou art.

TO ----

I cannot write old verses here,

  Dead things a thousand years away, When all the life of the young year

  Is in the summer day.

The roses make the world so sweet,

  The bees, the birds have such a tune, There's such a light and such a heat

  And such a joy this June,

One must expand one's heart with praise,

  And make the memory secure Of sunshine and the woodland days

  And summer twilights pure.

Oh listen rather! Nature's song

  Comes from the waters, beating tides, Green-margined rivers, and the throng

  Of streams on mountain-sides.

So fair those water-spirits are,

  Such happy strength their music fills, Our joy shall be to wander far

  And find them on the hills.


A fresh young voice that sings to me So often many a simple thing, Should surely not unanswered be By all that I can sing.

Dear voice, be happy every way A thousand changing tones among, From little child's unfinished lay To angel's perfect song.

In dewy woods--fair, soft, and green Like morning woods are childhood's bower-- Be like the voice of brook unseen Among the stones and flowers;

A joyful voice though born so low, And making all its neighbours glad; Sweet, hidden, constant in its flow Even when the winds are sad.

So, strengthen in a peaceful home, And daily deeper meanings bear; And when life's wildernesses come Be brave and faithful there.

Try all the glorious magic range, Worship, forgive, console, rejoice, Until the last and sweetest change-- So live and grow, dear voice.



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