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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Organ Songs. II. Longing

George MacDonald (1824–1905)

MY heart is full of inarticulate pain,

And beats laborious. Cold ungenial looks

Invade my sanctuary. Men of gain,

Wise in success, well-read in feeble books

No nigher come, I pray: your air is drear;

’Tis winter and low skies when ye appear.

Beloved, who love beauty and fair truth,

Come nearer me; too near ye cannot come;

Make me an atmosphere with your sweet youth;

Give me your souls to breathe in, a large room;

Speak not a word, for, see, my spirit lies

Helpless and dumb; shine on me with your eyes.

O all 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—

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 and things;

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,

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.

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!