To My Sister, On Her Twenty-First Birthday by George MacDonald


Old fables are not all a lie
That tell of wondrous birth,
Of Titan children, father Sky,
And mighty mother Earth.

Yea, now are walking on the ground
Sons of the mingled brood;
Yea, now upon the earth are found
Such daughters of the Good.

Earth-born, my sister, thou art still
A daughter of the sky;
Oh, climb for ever up the hill
Of thy divinity!

To thee thy mother Earth is sweet,
Her face to thee is fair;
But thou, a goddess incomplete,
Must climb the starry stair.


Wouldst thou the holy hill ascend,
Wouldst see the Father’s face?
To all his other children bend,
And take the lowest place.

Be like a cottage on a moor,
A covert from the wind,
With burning fire and open door,
And welcome free and kind.

Thus humbly doing on the earth
The things the earthly scorn,
Thou shalt declare the lofty birth
Of all the lowly born.


Be then thy sacred womanhood
A sign upon thee set,
A second baptism–understood–
For what thou must be yet.

For, cause and end of all thy strife,
And unrest as thou art,
Still stings thee to a higher life
The Father at thy heart.

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