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The Poetical Works of George MacDonald (Parables)

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That instant--through the branches overhead

No sound of going went--a shadow fell Isled in the unrippled pool of sunlight fed

From some far fountain hid in heavenly dell.

I looked, and in the low roofs broken place A single snowdrop stood--a radiant bell

Of silvery shine, softly subdued by grace

Of delicate green that made the white appear Yet whiter. Blind it bowed its head a space,

Half-timid--then, as in despite of fear,

Unfolded its three rays. If it had swung Its pendent bell, and music golden clear--

Division just entrancing sounds among--

Had flickered down as tender as flakes of snow, It had not shed more influence as it rung

Than from its look alone did rain and flow.

I knew the flower; perceived its human ways; Dim saw the secret that had made it grow:

My heart supplied the music's golden phrase.

Light from the dark and snowdrops from the earth, Life's resurrection out of gross decays,

The endless round of beauty's yearly birth,

And nations' rise and fall--were in the flower, And read themselves in silence. Heavenly mirth

Awoke in my sad heart. For one whole hour

I praised the God of snowdrops. But at height The bliss gave way. Next, faith began to cower;

And then the snowdrop vanished from my sight.

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