Subsidy

A poem by George MacDonald

If thou wouldst live the Truth in very deed,
Thou hast thy joy, but thou hast more of pain.
Others will live in peace, and thou be fain
To bargain with despair, and in thy need
To make thy meal upon the scantiest weed.
These palaces, for thee they stand in vain;
Thine is a ruinous hut, and oft the rain
Shall drench thee in the midnight; yea, the speed
Of earth outstrip thee, pilgrim, while thy feet
Move slowly up the heights. Yet will there come
Through the time-rents about thy moving cell,
Shot from the Truth's own bow, and flaming sweet,
An arrow for despair, and oft the hum
Of far-off populous realms where spirits dwell.

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