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The Poetical Works of George MacDonald (Parables)

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Dark, as if it would not tell,

  Lies the water, still and cool: Dip the bucket in the well,

  Lift it from the precious pool!

Up it comes all brown and dim,

  Telling of the twilight sweet: As it rises to the brim

  See the sun and water meet!

See the friends each other hail!

  "Here you are!" cries Master Sun; Mistress Water from the pail

  Flashes back, alive with fun!

Have you not a tale to tell,

  Water, as I take you home? Tell me of the hidden well

  Whence you, first of all, did come.

Of it you have kept some flavour

  Through long paths of darkling strife: Water all has still a savour

  Of the primal well of life!

Could you show the lovely way

  Back and up through sea and sky To that well? Oh, happy day,

  I would drink, and never die!

Jesus sits there on its brink

  All the world's great thirst to slake, Offering every one to drink

  Who will only come and take!

Lord of wells and waters all,

  Lord of rains and dewy beads, Unto thee my thirst doth call

  For the thing thou know'st it needs!

Come home, water sweet and cool,

  Gift of God thou always art! Spring up, Well more beautiful,

  Rise in mine straight from his heart.

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