George MacDonald

(10 December 1824 – 18 September 1905 / Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland)

How Shall He Sing Who Hath No Song? - Poem by George MacDonald

How shall he sing who hath no song?
He laugh who hath no mirth?
Will cannot wake the sleeping song!
Yea, Love itself in vain may long
To sing with them that have a song,
Or, mirthless, laugh with Mirth!
He who would sing but hath no song
Must speak the right, denounce the wrong,
Must humbly front the indignant throng,
Must yield his back to Satire's thong,
Nor shield his face from liar's prong,
Must say and do and be the truth,
And fearless wait for what ensueth,
Wait, wait, with patience sweet and strong,
Until God's glory fill the earth;
Then shall he sing who had no song,
He laugh who had no mirth!

Yea, if in land of stony dearth
Like barren rock thou sit,
Round which the phantom-waters flit
Of heart- and brain-mirage
That can no thirst assuage,
Yet be thou still, and wait, wait long;
A right sea comes to drown the wrong;
God's glory comes to fill the earth,
And thou, no more a scathed rock,
Shalt start alive with gladsome shock,
Shalt a hand-clapping billow be,
And shout with the eternal sea!

To righteousness and love belong
The dance, the jubilance, the song,
When the great Right hath quelled the wrong,
And Truth hath stilled the lying tongue!
Then men must sing because of song,
And laugh because of mirth!
And this shall be their anthem strong-
Hallow! the glad God fills the earth,
And Love sits down by every hearth!


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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010



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