by George MacDonald


 We doubt the word that tells us: Ask, 

And ye shall have your prayer; 

We turn our thoughts as to a task, 

With will constrained and rare.


And yet we have; these scanty prayers 

Yield gold without alloy: 

O God, but he that trusts and dares 

Must have a boundless joy!

I love that this poem’s title ends with a period. I don’t know if MacDonald titled it himself – if he jabbed that period into place with his inky quill; or if it was an editor’s addition; or a typesetter’s mistake.

But it speaks to me.

Of finality.

Of settledness.

Of trust.

Trusting to dare to ask.

note: I originally read this poem in Mrs. Howard Taylor: Her Web of Time by Joy Guinness (London: Lutterworth, 1949) 293. The original source: George MacDonald, Poems. (London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, & Roberts, 1857) 127. 

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