Henry Charles Beeching, ed. (1859–1919). Lyra Sacra: A Book of Religious Verse. 1903.

By George MacDonald (1824–1905)


O ALL 1 wide places, far from feverous towns;
  Great shining seas; pine forests; mountains wild;
Rock-bosomed shores; rough heaths, and sheep-cropt downs;
  Vast pallid clouds; blue spaces undefiled—
Room! give me room! give loneliness and air—        5
Free things and plenteous in your regions fair.
White dove of David, flying overhead,
  Golden with sunlight on thy snowy wings,
Outspeeding thee my longing thoughts are fled
  To find a home afar from men or things;        10
Where in His temple, earth o’erarched with sky,
God’s heart to mine may speak, my heart reply.
O God of mountains, stars, and boundless spaces,
  O God of freedom and of joyous hearts,
When Thy face looketh forth from all men’s faces,        15
  There will be room enough in crowded marts!
Brood Thou around me, and the noise is o’er,
Thy universe my closet with shut door.
Heart, heart, awake! The love that loveth all
  Maketh a deeper calm than Horeb’s cave,        20
God in thee, can His children’s folly gall?
  Love may be hurt, but shall not love be brave?—
Thy holy silence sinks in dews of balm;
Thou art my solitude, my mountain-calm!
Note 1. Shortened, with the author’s leave, from a poem in “Organ Songs.” [back]