Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century
Alfred H. Miles, ed.  The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
A Book of Dreams.
I. A piece of Gold
By George MacDonald (1824–1905)
A PIECE of gold had left my purse,
  Which I had guarded ill;
I feared a lack, but feared yet worse
  Regret returning still.
I lifted up my feeble prayer        5
  To Him who maketh strong,
That thence no haunting thoughts of care
  Might do my spirit wrong.
And even before my body slept,
  Such visions fair I had,        10
That seldom soul with chamber swept
  Was more serenely glad.
No white-robed angel floated by
  On slow, reposing wings;
I only saw, with inward eye,        15
  Some very common things.
First rose the scarlet pimpernel
  With burning purple heart;
I saw within it, and could spell
  The lesson of its art.        20
Then came the primrose, childlike flower,
  And looked me in the face;
It bore a message full of power,
  And confidence, and grace.
And breezes rose on pastures trim        25
  And bathed me all about;
Wool-muffled sheep-bells babbled dim,
  Or only half spoke out.
Sudden it closed, some door of heaven,
  But what came out remained;        30
The poorest man my loss had given
  For that which I had gained!
Thou gav’st me, Lord, a brimming cup
  Where I bemoaned a sip;
How easily Thou didst make up        35
  For what my fault let slip!
What said the flowers? what message new
  Embalmed my soul with rest?
I scarce can tell—only they grew
  Right out of God’s own breast.        40
They said, to every flower He made,
  God’s thought was root and stem—
Perhaps said what the lilies said
  When Jesus looked at them.

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