The Sleepless Jesus

A poem by George MacDonald

'Tis time to sleep, my little boy:
Why gaze thy bright eyes so?
At night our children, for new joy
Home to thy father go,
But thou art wakeful! Sleep, my child;
The moon and stars are gone;
The wind is up and raving wild,
But thou art smiling on!

My child, thou hast immortal eyes
That see by their own light;
They see the children's blood--it lies
Red-glowing through the night!
Thou hast an ever-open ear
For sob or cry or moan:
Thou seemest not to see or hear,
Thou only smilest on!

When first thou camest to the earth,
All sounds of strife were still;
A silence lay about thy birth,
And thou didst sleep thy fill:
Thou wakest now--why weep'st thou not?
Thy earth is woe-begone;
Both babes and mothers wail their lot,
But still thou smilest on!

I read thy face like holy book;
No hurt is pictured there;
Deep in thine eyes I see the look
Of one who answers prayer.
Beyond pale grief and wild uproars,
Thou seest God's will well done;
Low prayers, through chambers' closed doors,
Thou hear'st--and smilest on.

Men say: "I will arise and go;"
God says: "I will go meet:"
Thou seest them gather, weeping low,
About the Father's feet;
And each for each begin to bear,
And standing lonely none:
Answered, O eyes, ye see all prayer!
Smile, Son of God, smile on.

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