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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Diary of an Old Soul, Jan 7 - 13

7. I see a child before an empty house,
Knocking and knocking at the closed door;
He wakes dull echoes--but nor man nor mouse,
If he stood knocking there for evermore.--
A mother angel, see! folding each wing,
Soft-walking, crosses straight the empty floor,
And opens to the obstinate praying thing.

8. Were there but some deep, holy spell, whereby
Always I should remember thee--some mode
Of feeling the pure heat-throb momently
Of the spirit-fire still uttering this I!--
Lord, see thou to it, take thou remembrance' load:
Only when I bethink me can I cry;
Remember thou, and prick me with love's goad.

9. If to myself--"God sometimes interferes"--
I said, my faith at once would be struck blind.
I see him all in all, the lifing mind,
Or nowhere in the vacant miles and years.
A love he is that watches and that hears,
Or but a mist fumed up from minds of men,
Whose fear and hope reach out beyond their ken.

10. When I no more can stir my soul to move,
And life is but the ashes of a fire;
When I can but remember that my heart
Once used to live and love, long and aspire,--
Oh, be thou then the first, the one thou art;
Be thou the calling, before all answering love,
And in me wake hope, fear, boundless desire.

11. I thought that I had lost thee; but, behold!
Thou comest to me from the horizon low,
Across the fields outspread of green and gold--
Fair carpet for thy feet to come and go.
Whence I know not, or how to me thou art come!--
Not less my spirit with calm bliss doth glow,
Meeting thee only thus, in nature vague and dumb.

12. Doubt swells and surges, with swelling doubt behind!
My soul in storm is but a tattered sail,
Streaming its ribbons on the torrent gale;
In calm, 'tis but a limp and flapping thing:
Oh! swell it with thy breath; make it a wing,--
To sweep through thee the ocean, with thee the wind
Nor rest until in thee its haven it shall find.

13. The idle flapping of the sail is doubt;
Faith swells it full to breast the breasting seas.
Bold, conscience, fast, and rule the ruling helm;
Hell's freezing north no tempest can send out,
But it shall toss thee homeward to thy leas;
Boisterous wave-crest never shall o'erwhelm
Thy sea-float bark as safe as field-borne rooted elm.

The above is excerpted from George MacDonald's A Book of Strife in the Form of The Diary of an Old Soul (Public Domain, 1880). For further information see this post. These are the entries for/from January 7th through 13th.

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