Contrition

A poem by George MacDonald

Out of the gulf into the glory,
Father, my soul cries out to be lifted.
Dark is the woof of my dismal story,
Thorough thy sun-warp stormily drifted!--
Out of the gulf into the glory,
Lift me, and save my story.

I have done many things merely shameful;
I am a man ashamed, my father!
My life is ashamed and broken and blameful--
The broken and blameful, oh, cleanse and gather!
Heartily shame me, Lord, of the shameful!
To my judge I flee with my blameful.

Saviour, at peace in thy perfect purity,
Think what it is, not to be pure!
Strong in thy love's essential security,
Think upon those who are never secure.
Full fill my soul with the light of thy purity:
Fold me in love's security.

O Father, O Brother, my heart is sore aching!
Help it to ache as much as is needful;
Is it you cleansing me, mending, remaking,
Dear potter-hands, so tender and heedful?
Sick of my past, of my own self aching--
Hurt on, dear hands, with your making.

Proud of the form thou hadst given thy vessel,
Proud of myself, I forgot my donor;
Down in the dust I began to nestle,
Poured thee no wine, and drank deep of dishonour!
Lord, thou hast broken, thou mendest thy vessel!
In the dust of thy glory I nestle.

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