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

By A Book of Dreams. I. A piece of Gold

George MacDonald (1824–1905)

A PIECE of gold had left my purse,

Which I had guarded ill;

I feared a lack, but feared yet worse

Regret returning still.

I lifted up my feeble prayer

To Him who maketh strong,

That thence no haunting thoughts of care

Might do my spirit wrong.

And even before my body slept,

Such visions fair I had,

That seldom soul with chamber swept

Was more serenely glad.

No white-robed angel floated by

On slow, reposing wings;

I only saw, with inward eye,

Some very common things.

First rose the scarlet pimpernel

With burning purple heart;

I saw within it, and could spell

The lesson of its art.

Then came the primrose, childlike flower,

And looked me in the face;

It bore a message full of power,

And confidence, and grace.

And breezes rose on pastures trim

And bathed me all about;

Wool-muffled sheep-bells babbled dim,

Or only half spoke out.

Sudden it closed, some door of heaven,

But what came out remained;

The poorest man my loss had given

For that which I had gained!

Thou gav’st me, Lord, a brimming cup

Where I bemoaned a sip;

How easily Thou didst make up

For what my fault let slip!

What said the flowers? what message new

Embalmed my soul with rest?

I scarce can tell—only they grew

Right out of God’s own breast.

They said, to every flower He made,

God’s thought was root and stem—

Perhaps said what the lilies said

When Jesus looked at them.