6. This day be with me, Lord, when I go forth,
Be nearer to me than I am able to ask.
In merriment, in converse, or in task,
Walking the street, listening to men of worth,
Or greeting such as only talk and bask,
Be thy thought still my waiting soul around,
And if He come, I shall be watching found.
7. What if, writing, I always seem to leave
Some better thing, or better way, behind,
Why should I therefore fret at all, or grieve!
The worse I drop, that I the better find;
The best is only in thy perfect mind.
Fallen threads I will not search for--I will weave.
Who makes the mill-wheel backward strike to grind!
8. Be with me, Lord. Keep me beyond all prayers:
For more than all my prayers my need of thee,
And thou beyond all need, all unknown cares;
What the heart's dear imagination dares,
Thou dost transcend in measureless majesty
All prayers in one--my God, be unto me
Thy own eternal self, absolutely.
9. Where should the unknown treasures of the truth
Lie, but there whence the truth comes out the most--
In the Son of man, folded in love and ruth*?
Fair shore we see, fair ocean; but behind
Lie infinite reaches bathing many a coast--
The human thought of the eternal mind,
Pulsed by a living tide, blown by a living wind.
10. Thou, healthful Father, art the Ancient of Days,
And Jesus is the eternal youth of thee.
Our old age is the scorching of the bush
By life's indwelling, incorruptible blaze.
O Life, burn at this feeble shell of me,
Till I the sore singed garment off shall push,
Flap out my Psyche wings, and to thee rush.
11. But shall I then rush to thee like a dart?
Or lie long hours æonian** yet betwixt
This hunger in me, and the Father's heart?--
It shall be good, how ever, and not ill;
Of things and thoughts even now thou art my next;
Sole neighbour, and no space between, thou art--
And yet art drawing nearer, nearer still.
12. Therefore, my brothers, therefore, sisters dear,
However I, troubled or selfish, fail
In tenderness, or grace, or service clear,
I every moment draw to you more near;
God in us from our hearts veil after veil
Keeps lifting, till we see with his own sight,
And all together run in unity's delight.
**According to this source, aeonian is an adjective meaning "lasting for an immeasurably or indefinitely long period of time."
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. The excerpt above is the readings for March 6 through March 12.