Two Rondels

A poem by George MacDonald

I.

When, in the mid-sea of the night,
I waken at thy call, O Lord,
The first that troop my bark aboard
Are darksome imps that hate the light,
Whose tongues are arrows, eyes a blight--
Of wraths and cares a pirate horde--
Though on the mid-sea of the night
It was thy call that waked me, Lord.

Then I must to my arms and fight--
Catch up my shield and two-edged sword,
The words of him who is thy word--
Nor cease till they are put to flight;
Then in the mid-sea of the night
I turn and listen for thee, Lord.

II.

There comes no voice from thee, O Lord,
Across the mid-sea of the night!
I lift my voice and cry with might:
If thou keep silent, soon a horde
Of imps again will swarm aboard,
And I shall be in sorry plight
If no voice come from thee, my Lord,
Across the mid-sea of the night.

There comes no voice; I hear no word!
But in my soul dawns something bright:--
There is no sea, no foe to fight!
Thy heart and mine beat one accord:
I need no voice from thee, O Lord,
Across the mid-sea of the night.

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