Each ripple waves a flickering fire
Of gladness, as it runs;
They laugh and flash, and leap and spire,
And toss ten thousand suns.
But hark! low, in the world within,
One sad aeolian tone:
‘Ah! shall we ever, ever win
A summer of our own?’
A morn of winds and swaying trees-
Earth’s jubilance rushing out!
The birds are fighting with the breeze;
The waters heave about.
White clouds are swept across the sky,
Their shadows o’er the graves;
Purpling the green, they float and fly
Athwart the sunny waves.
The long grass-an earth-rooted sea-
Mimics the watery strife.
To boat or horse? Wild motion we
Shall find harmonious life.
But whither? Roll and sweep and bend
Suffice for Nature’s part;
But motion to an endless end
Is needful for our heart.
The morn awakes like brooding dove,
With outspread wings of gray;
Her feathery clouds close in above,
And roof a sober day.
No motion in the deeps of air!
No trembling in the leaves!
A still contentment everywhere,
That neither laughs nor grieves!
A film of sheeted silver gray
Shuts in the ocean’s hue;
White-winged feluccas cleave their way
In paths of gorgeous blue.
Dream on, dream on, O dreamy day,
Thy very clouds are dreams!
Yon child is dreaming far away-
He is not where he seems.
The lark is up, his faith is strong,
He mounts the morning air;
Lone voice of all the creature throng,
He sings the morning prayer.
Slow clouds from north and south appear,
Black-based, with shining slope;
In sullen forms their might they rear,
And climb the vaulted cope.
A lightning flash, a thunder boom!-
Nor sun nor clouds are there;
A single, all-pervading gloom
Hangs in the heavy air.
A weeping, wasting afternoon
Weighs down the aspiring corn;
Amber and red, the sunset soon
Leads back to golden morn.
Many of the works of George MacDonald are available
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