This week marked the anniversary of the death of George MacDonald, a noted Scottish novelist of the 19th century, whose work influenced C.S. Lewis, W.H. Auden and others.
MacDonald was also a poet. Here are three excellent poems from his collection A Hidden Life and Other Poems.
(This book is available as a FREE ebook [easyazon_link asin=”B0084BNKU4″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”douloschristo-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]for Kindle[/easyazon_link] and other devices…)
I KNOW WHAT BEAUTY IS
I know what beauty is, for Thou
Hast set the world within my heart;
Its glory from me will not part;
I never loved it more than now.
I know the Sabbath afternoon:
The light lies sleeping on the graves;
Against the sky the poplar waves;
The river plays a Sabbath tune.
Ah, know I not the spring’s snow-bell?
The summer woods at close of even?
Autumn, when earth dies into heaven,
And winter’s storms, I know them well.
I know the rapture music brings,
The power that dwells in ordered tones,
A living voice that loves and moans,
And speaks unutterable things.
Consenting beauties in a whole;
The living eye, the imperial head,
The gait of inward music bred,
The woman form, a radiant soul.
And splendours all unspoken bide
Within the ken of spirit’s eye;
And many a glory saileth by,
Borne on the Godhead’s living tide.
But I leave all, thou man of woe!
Put off my shoes, and come to Thee;
Thou art most beautiful to me;
More wonderful than all I know.
As child forsakes his favourite toy,
His sisters’ sport, his wild bird’s nest;
And climbing to his mother’s breast,
Enjoys yet more his former joy–
I lose to find. On forehead wide
The jewels tenfold light afford:
So, gathered round thy glory, Lord,
All beauty else is glorified.