But a Fool

Who sets himself not sternly to be good,Is but a fool, who judgment of true things

Has none, however oft the claim renewed.

And he who thinks, in his great plenitude,

To right himself, and set his spirit free,

Without the might of higher communings,

Is foolish also—save he willed himself to be.
— George MacDonald 

Thou Who Knowest

When I am very weary with hard thought,

     And yet the question burns and is not quenched,

     My heart grows cool when to remembrance wrought

     That thou who know’st the light-born answer sought

     Know’st too the dark where the doubt lies entrenched—

     Know’st with what seemings I am sore perplexed,

     And that with thee I wait, nor needs my soul be vexed. 
– George MacDonald

Unto the True Alone

They will not, therefore cannot, do not know him.Nothing they could know, could be God. In sooth,

Unto the true alone exists the truth.

They say well, saying Nature doth not show him:

Truly she shows not what she cannot show;

And they deny the thing they cannot know.

Who sees a glory, towards it will go. 

Strange Paths

My prayers, my God, flow from what I am not;
I think thy answers make me what I am.

Like weary waves thought follows upon thought,

But the still depth beneath is all thine own,

And there thou mov’st in paths to us unknown.

Out of strange strife thy peace is strangely wrought;

If the lion in us pray—thou answerest the lamb.
— George MacDonald

Haste, Lord, to Help

Haste to me, Lord, when this fool-heart of mine

     Begins to gnaw itself with selfish craving;

     Or, like a foul thing scarcely worth the saving,

     Swoln up with wrath, desireth vengeance fine.

     Haste, Lord, to help, when reason favours wrong;

     Haste when thy soul, the high-born thing divine,

     Is torn by passion’s raving, maniac throng. 
—George MacDonald

The Eternal Air

Through all the fog, through all earth’s wintery sighs,

I scent Thy spring, I feel the eternal air,

Warm, soft, and dewy, filled with flowery eyes,

And gentle, murmuring motions everywhere—

Of life in heart, and tree, and brook, and moss;

Thy breath wakes beauty, love, and bliss, and prayer,

And strength to hang with nails upon thy cross.

George MacDonald, Diary of an Old Soul.