George MacDonald

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

Songs Of The Autumn Nights - Poem by George MacDonald

I.

O night, send up the harvest moon
To walk about the fields,
And make of midnight magic noon
On lonely tarns and wealds.

In golden ranks, with golden crowns,
All in the yellow land,
Old solemn kings in rustling gowns,
The shocks moon-charmed stand.

Sky-mirror she, afloat in space,
Beholds our coming morn:
Her heavenly joy hath such a grace,
It ripens earthly corn;

Like some lone saint with upward eyes,
Lost in the deeps of prayer:
The people still their prayers and sighs,
And gazing ripen there.

II.

So, like the corn moon-ripened last,
Would I, weary and gray,
On golden memories ripen fast,
And ripening pass away.

In an old night so let me die;
A slow wind out of doors;
A waning moon low in the sky;
A vapour on the moors;

A fire just dying in the gloom;
Earth haunted all with dreams;
A sound of waters in the room;
A mirror's moony gleams;

And near me, in the sinking night,
More thoughts than move in me-
Forgiving wrong, and loving right,
And waiting till I see.


III.

Across the stubble glooms the wind;
High sails the lated crow;
The west with pallid green is lined;
Fog tracks the river's flow.

My heart is cold and sad; I moan,
Yet care not for my grief;
The summer fervours all are gone;
The roses are but leaf.

Old age is coming, frosty, hoar;
The snows of time will fall;
My jubilance, dream-like, no more
Returns for any call!

O lapsing heart! thy feeble strain
Sends up the blood so spare,
That my poor withering autumn brain
Sees autumn everywhere!


IV.

Lord of my life! if I am blind,
I reck not-thou canst see;
I well may wait my summer mind,
When I am sure of thee!


I
made no brave bright suns arise,
Veiled up no sweet gray eves;

I
hung no rose-lamps, lit no eyes,
Sent out no windy leaves!

I said not 'I will cast a charm
These gracious forms around;'
My heart with unwilled love grew warm;
I took but what I found!

When cold winds range my winter-night,
Be thou my summer-door;
Keep for me all my young delight,
Till I am old no more.


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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010



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