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.
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Is there a man on earth, who, every night,
When the day hath exhausted each strong limb,
Lays him upon his bed in chamber dim,
And his heart straightway trembling with delight,
Begins to burn up towards the vaulted height
Of the great peace that overshadows him?
Like flakes of fire his thoughts within him swim,
Till all his soul is radiant, blazing bright.
The great earth under him an altar is,
Upon whose top a sacrifice he lies,
Burning to God up through the nightly skies,
Whose love, warm-brooding o’er him, kindled his;
Until his flaming thoughts, consumed, expire,
Sleep’s ashes covering the yet glowing fire.
What other poems of George MacDonald are your favorites?
C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com
Reading for the Common Good
From ERB Editor Christopher Smith
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