Punishment

A poem by George MacDonald

Mourner, that dost deserve thy mournfulness,
Call thyself punished, call the earth thy hell;
Say, "God is angry, and I earned it well--
I would not have him smile on wickedness:"

Say this, and straightway all thy grief grows less:--
"God rules at least, I find as prophets tell,
And proves it in this prison!"--then thy cell
Smiles with an unsuspected loveliness.

--"A prison--and yet from door and window-bar
I catch a thousand breaths of his sweet air!
Even to me his days and nights are fair!
He shows me many a flower and many a star!
And though I mourn and he is very far,
He does not kill the hope that reaches there!"

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