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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Diary of an Old Soul, Sept 10 - 16

10. Ever seem to fail in utterance*.
Sometimes amid the swift melodious dance
Of fluttering words--as if it had not been,
The thought has melted, vanished into night;
Sometimes I say a thing I did not mean,
And lo! 'tis better, by thy ordered chance,
Than what eluded me, floating too feathery light.

11. If thou wouldst have me speak, Lord, give me speech.
So many cries are uttered now-a-days,
That scarce a song, however clear and true,
Will thread the jostling tumult safe, and reach
The ears of men buz-filled with poor denays:
Barb thou my words with light, make my song new,
And men will hear, or when I sing or preach.

12. Can anything go wrong with me? I ask--
And the same moment, at a sudden pain,
Stand trembling. Up from the great river's brim
Comes a cold breath; the farther bank is dim;
The heaven is black with clouds and coming rain;
High soaring faith is grown a heavy task,
And all is wrong with weary heart and brain.

13. "Things do go wrong. I know grief, pain, and fear.
I see them lord it sore and wide around."
From her fair twilight answers Truth, star-crowned,
"Things wrong are needful where wrong things abound.
Things go not wrong; but Pain, with dog and spear,
False faith from human hearts will hunt and hound.
The earth shall quake 'neath them that trust the solid ground."

14. Things go not wrong when sudden I fall prone,
But when I snatch my upheld hand from thine,
And, proud or careless, think to walk alone.
Then things go wrong, when I, poor, silly sheep,
To shelves and pits from the good pasture creep;
Not when the shepherd leaves the ninety and nine,
And to the mountains goes, after the foolish one.

15. Lo! now thy swift dogs, over stone and bush,
After me, straying sheep, loud barking, rush.
There's Fear, and Shame, and Empty-heart, and Lack,
And Lost-love, and a thousand at their back!
I see thee not, but know thou hound'st them on,
And I am lost indeed--escape is none.
See! there they come, down streaming on my track!

16. I rise and run, staggering--double and run.--
But whither?--whither?--whither for escape?
The sea lies all about this long-necked cape--
There come the dogs, straight for me every one--
Me, live despair, live centre of alarms!--
Ah! lo! 'twixt me and all his barking harms,
The shepherd, lo!--I run--fall folded in his arms.

*I'm not quite sure what this line is about. It isn't obviously connected to the September 9th entry.

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 September 10 through 16.

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