Smoke

A poem by George MacDonald

Lord, I have laid my heart upon thy altar
But cannot get the wood to burn;
It hardly flares ere it begins to falter
And to the dark return.

Old sap, or night-fallen dew, makes damp the fuel;
In vain my breath would flame provoke;
Yet see--at every poor attempt's renewal
To thee ascends the smoke!

'Tis all I have--smoke, failure, foiled endeavour,
Coldness and doubt and palsied lack:
Such as I have I send thee!--perfect Giver,
Send thou thy lightning back.

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