George MacDonald

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

To My Mother Earth - Poem by George MacDonald

O Earth, Earth, Earth,
I am dying for love of thee,
For thou hast given me birth,
And thy hands have tended me.

I would fall asleep on thy breast
When its swelling folds are bare,
When the thrush dreams of its nest
And the life of its joy in the air;

When thy life is a vanished ghost,
And the glory hath left thy waves,
When thine eye is blind with frost,
And the fog sits on the graves;

When the blasts are shivering about,
And the rain thy branches beats,
When the damps of death are out,
And the mourners are in the streets.

Oh my sleep should be deep
In the arms of thy swiftening motion,
And my dirge the mystic sweep
Of the winds that nurse the ocean.

And my eye would slowly ope
With the voice that awakens thee,
And runs like a glance of hope
Up through the quickening tree;

When the roots of the lonely fir
Are dipt in thy veining heat,
And thy countless atoms stir
With the gather of mossy feet;

When the sun's great censer swings
In the hands that always be,
And the mists from thy watery rings
Go up like dust from the sea;

When the midnight airs are assembling
With a gush in thy whispering halls,
And the leafy air is trembling
Like a stream before it falls.

Thy shadowy hand hath found me
On the drifts of the Godhead's will,
And thy dust hath risen around me
With a life that guards me still.

O Earth! I have caught from thine
The pulse of a mystic chase;
O Earth! I have drunk like wine
The life of thy swiftening race.

Wilt miss me, mother sweet,
A life in thy milky veins?
Wilt miss the sound of my feet
In the tramp that shakes thy plains

When the jaws of darkness rend,
And the vapours fold away,
And the sounds of life ascend
Like dust in the blinding day?

I would know thy silver strain
In the shouts of the starry crowd
When the souls of thy changing men
Rise up like an incense cloud.

I would know thy brightening lobes
And the lap of thy watery bars
Though space were choked with globes
And the night were blind with stars!

From the folds of my unknown place,
When my soul is glad and free,
I will slide by my God's sweet grace
And hang like a cloud on thee.

When the pale moon sits at night
By the brink of her shining well,
Laving the rings of her widening light
On the slopes of the weltering swell,

I will fall like a wind from the west
On the locks of thy prancing streams,
And sow the fields of thy rest
With handfuls of sweet young dreams.

When the sound of thy children's cry
Hath stricken thy gladness dumb,
I will kindle thine upward eye
With a laugh from the years that come.

Far above where the loud wind raves,
On a wing as still as snow
I will watch the grind of the curly waves
As they bite the coasts below;

When the shining ranks of the frost
Draw down on the glistening wold
In the mail of a fairy host,
And the earth is mossed with cold,

Till the plates that shine about
Close up with a filmy din,
Till the air is frozen out,
And the stars are frozen in.

I will often stoop to range
On the fields where my youth was spent,
And my feet shall smite the cliffs of change
With the rush of a steep descent;

And my glowing soul shall burn
With a love that knows no pall,
And my eye of worship turn
Upon him that fashioned all-

When the sounding waves of strife
Have died on the Godhead's sea,
And thy life is a purer life
That nurses a life in me.


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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010



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