The Asthmatic Man To The Satan That Binds Him

By George Macdonald

Satan, avaunt!
Nay, take thine hour,
Thou canst not daunt,
Thou hast no power;
Be welcome to thy nest,
Though it be in my breast.

Burrow amain;
Dig like a mole;
Fill every vein
With half-burnt coal;
Puff the keen dust about,
And all to choke me out.

Fill music’s ways
With creaking cries,
That no loud praise
May climb the skies;
And on my labouring chest
Lay mountains of unrest.

My slumber steep
In dreams of haste,
That only sleep,
No rest, I taste-
With stiflings, rimes of rote,
And fingers on my throat.

Satan, thy might
I do defy;
Live core of night
I patient lie:
A wind comes up the gray
Will blow thee clean away.

Christ’s angel, Death,
All radiant white,
With one cold breath
Will scare thee quite,
And give my lungs an air
As fresh as answered prayer.

So, Satan, do
Thy worst with me
Until the True
Shall set me free,
And end what he began,
By making me a man.

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