Selfish I was, and heedless to offend;
Stood on my rights. Thy own child would not send
Away his shreds of nothing for the whole God!
Wretched, to thee who savest, low I bend:
Give me the power to let my rag-rights go
In the great wind that from thy gulf doth blow.
18. Keep me from wrath, let it seem ever so right:
My wrath will never work thy righteousness.
Up, up the hill, to the whiter than snow-shine,
Help me to climb, and dwell in pardon's light.
I must be pure as thou, or ever less
Than thy design of me--therefore incline
My heart to take men's wrongs as thou tak'st mine.
19. Lord, in thy spirit's hurricane, I pray,
Strip my soul naked--dress it then thy way.
Change for me all my rags to cloth of gold.
Who would not poverty for riches yield?
A hovel sell to buy a treasure-field?
Who would a mess of porridge careful hold
Against the universe's birthright old?
20. Help me to yield my will, in labour even,
Nor toil on toil, greedy of doing, heap--
Fretting I cannot more than me is given;
That with the finest clay my wheel runs slow,
Nor lets the lovely thing the shapely grow;
That memory what thought gives it cannot keep,
And nightly rimes ere morn like cistus-petals go.
George MacDonald, A Book of Strife in the Form of The Diary of an Old Soul, 1880. (Public Domain)
George MacDonald (see first post on him) was an amazing author, writing in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He influenced C. S. Lewis, among many others.
One of his books is a book of daily devotional readings, in poetry form. The readings for February 17 through 20 are given above.