A Book of Dreams
By George MacDonald
Part One, Section One
I lay and dreamed. The master came
In his old woven dress;
I stood in joy, and yet in shame,
Oppressed with earthliness.
He stretched his arms, and gently sought
To clasp me to his soul;
I shrunk away, because I thought
He did not know the whole.
I did not love him as I would,
Embraces were not meet;
I sank before him where he stood,
And held and kissed his feet.
Ten years have passed away since then,
Oft hast thou come to me;
The question scarce will rise again,
Whether I care for thee.
To every doubt, in thee my heart
An answer hopes to find;
In every gladness, Lord, thou art,
The deeper joy behind.
And yet in other realms of life,
Unknown temptations rise,
Unknown perplexities and strife,
New questions and replies.
And every lesson learnt, anew,
The vain assurance lends
That now I know, and now can do,
And now should see thy ends.
So I forget I am a child,
And act as if a man;
Who through the dark and tempest wild
Will go, because he can.
And so, O Lord, not yet I dare
To clasp thee to my breast;
Though well I know that only there
Is hid the secret rest.
And yet I shrink not, as at first:
Be thou the judge of guilt;
Thou knowest all my best and worst,
Do with me as thou wilt.
Spread thou once more thine arms abroad,
Lay bare thy bosom’s beat;
Thou shalt embrace me, O my God,
And I will kiss thy feet.