George MacDonald

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

The Foolish Harebell - Poem by George MacDonald

A harebell hung her wilful head:
'I am tired, so tired! I wish I was dead.'

She hung her head in the mossy dell:
'If all were over, then all were well!'

The Wind he heard, and was pitiful,
And waved her about to make her cool.

'Wind, you are rough!' said the dainty Bell;
'Leave me alone-I am not well.'

The Wind, at the word of the drooping dame,
Sighed to himself and ceased in shame.

'I am hot, so hot!' she moaned and said;
'I am withering up; I wish I was dead!'

Then the Sun he pitied her woeful case,
And drew a thick veil over his face.

'Cloud go away, and don't be rude,'
She said; 'I do not see why you should!'

The Cloud withdrew. Then the Harebell cried,
'I am faint, so faint!-and no water beside!'

The Dew came down its millionfold path:
She murmured, 'I did not want a bath!'

The Dew went up; the Wind softly crept;
The Night came down, and the Harebell slept.

A boy ran past in the morning gray,
Plucked the Harebell, and threw her away.

The Harebell shivered, and sighed, 'Oh! oh!
I am faint indeed! Come, dear Wind, blow.'

The Wind blew gently, and did not speak.
She thanked him kindly, but grew more weak.

'Sun, dear Sun, I am cold!' she said.
He shone; but lower she drooped her head.

'O Rain, I am withering! all the blue
Is fading out of me!-come, please do!'

The Rain came down as fast as he could,
But for all his good will he could do her no good.

She shuddered and shrivelled, and moaning said,
'Thank you all kindly!' and then she was dead.

Let us hope, let us hope when she comes next year
She'll be simple and sweet! But I fear, I fear!

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010

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