George MacDonald

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Better Things 

Better to smell the violet

Than sip the glowing wine;

Better to hearken to a brook

Then watch a diamond shine.

 

Better to have a loving friend

Than ten admiring foes;

Better a daisy’s earthy root

Than a gorgeous, dying rose.

 

Better to love in loneliness

Than bask in love all day;

Better the fountain in the heart

Than the fountain by the way.

 

Better be fed by mother’s hand

Than eat alone at will;

Better to trust in God, than say,

My goods my storehouse fill.

 

Better to be a little wise

Than in knowledge to abound;

Better to teach a child than toil

To fill pefection’s round.

 

Better to sit at some man’s feet

Than thrill a listening state;

Better suspect that thou art proud

Than be sure that thou art great.

 

Better to walk the realm unseen

Than watch the hour’s event;

Better the Well done, faithful slave!

Than the air with shoutings rent.

 

Better to have a quiet grief

Than many turbulent joys;

Better to miss they manhood’s aim

Than sacrifice the boy’s.

 

Better a death when work is done

Than earth’s most favoured birth;

Better a child in God’s great house

Than the king of all the earth.

 

George MacDonald

Discovering the Character of God,  p.192

 

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