Creation, Poetry

Sounding far above our strife

Poems are coming thick and fast, but this one is so magnificent I simply had to share. It’s flowing along the same vein as Wendell Berry’s of Sunday (though it takes us rather out of desolation), but how splendid is the fourth stanza? I love that. Found in an old book of George MacDonald’s Poetical Works from 1911.


In the winter, flowers are springing;
In the winter, woods are green,
Where our banished birds are singing,
Where our summer sun is seen!
Our cold midnights are coeval
With an evening and a morn
Where the forest-gods hold revel,
And the spring is newly born!

While the earth is full of fighting,
While men rise and curse their day,
While the foolish strong are smiting,
And the foolish weak betray–
The true hearts beyond are growing,
The brave spirits work alone,
Where Love’s summer-wind is blowing
In a truth-irradiate zone!

While we cannot shape our living
To the beauty of our skies,
While man wants and earth is giving–
Nature calls and man denies–
How the old worlds round Him gather
Where their Maker is their sun!
How the children know the Father
Where the will of God is done!

Daily woven with our story,
Sounding far above our strife,
Is a time-enclosing glory,
Is a space-absorbing life.
We can dream no dream Elysian,
There is no good thing might be,
But some angel has the vision,
But some human soul shall see!

Is thy strait horizon dreary?
Is thy foolish fancy chill?
Change the feet that have grown weary
For the wings that never will.
Burst the flesh, and live the spirit;
Haunt the beautiful and far;
Thou hast all things to inherit,
And a soul for every star.

George MacDonald

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