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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Diary of an Old Soul, Sept. 17 - 23

17. There let the dogs yelp, let them growl and leap;
It is no matter--I will go to sleep.
Like a spent cloud pass pain and grief and fear,
Out from behind it unchanged love shines clear.--
Oh, save me, Christ!--I know not what I am,
I was thy stupid, self-willed, greedy lamb,
Would be thy honest and obedient sheep.

18. Why is it that so often I return
From social converse with a spirit worn,
A lack, a disappointment--even a sting
Of shame, as for some low, unworthy thing?--
Because I have not, careful, first of all,
Set my door open wide, back to the wall,
Ere I at others' doors did knock and call.

19. Yet more and more of me thou dost demand;
My faith and hope in God alone shall stand,
The life of law--not trust the rain and sun
To draw the golden harvest o'er the land.
I must not say--"This too will pass and die,"
"The wind will change," "Round will the seasons run."
Law is the body of will, of conscious harmony.

20. Who trusts a law, might worship a god of wood;
Half his soul slumbers, if it be not dead.
He is a live thing shut in chaos crude,
Hemmed in with dragons--a remorseless head
Still hanging over its uplifted eyes.
No; God is all in all, and nowhere dies--
The present heart and thinking will of good.

21. Law is our schoolmaster. Our master, Christ,
Lived under all our laws, yet always prayed--
So walked the water when the storm was highest.--
Law is Thy father's; thou hast it obeyed,
And it thereby subject to thee hast made--
To rule it, master, for thy brethren's sakes:--
Well may he guide the law by whom law's maker makes.

22. Death haunts our souls with dissolution's strife;
Soaks them with unrest; makes our every breath
A throe, not action; from God's purest gift
Wipes off the bloom; and on the harp of faith
Its fretted strings doth slacken still and shift:
Life everywhere, perfect, and always life,
Is sole redemption from this haunting death.

23. God, thou from death dost lift me. As I rise,
Its Lethe from my garment drips and flows.
Ere long I shall be safe in upper air,
With thee, my life--with thee, my answered prayer
Where thou art God in every wind that blows,
And self alone, and ever, softly dies,
There shall my being blossom, and I know it fair.

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 17 through 23.

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