Consider the ravens
by George MacDonald
Lord, according to Thy words,
I have considered Thy birds;
And I find their life good,
And better the better understood;
Sowing neither corn nor wheat,
They have all that they can eat;
Reaping no more than they sow.
They have all they can stow;
Having neither barn nor store,
Hungry again, they eat more.
Considering, I see too that they
Have a busy life, and plenty of play;
In the earth they dig their bills deep,
And work well though they do not heap;
Then to play in the air they are not loth,
And their nests between are better than both.
But this is when there blow no storms;
When berries are plenty in winter, and worms;
When their feathers are thick, and oil is enough
To keep the cold out and the rain off:
If there should come a long hard frost,
Then it looks as Thy birds were lost.
But I consider further, and find
A hungry bird has a free mind;
He is hungry to-day, not to-morrow;
Steals no comfort, no grief doth borrow;
This moment is his, Thy will hath said it,
The next is nothing till Thou hast made it.
The bird has pain, but has no fear,
Which is the worst of any gear;
When cold and hunger and harm betide him,
He gathers them not to stuff inside him;
Content with the day's ill he has got,
He waits just, nor haggles with his lot;
Neither jumbles God's will
With driblets from his own still.
But next I see, in my endeavor,
Thy birds here do not live forever;
That cold or hunger, sickness or age,
Finishes their earthly stage;
The rook drops without a stroke,
And never gives another croak;
Birds lie here, and birds lie there,
With little feathers all astare;
And in Thy own sermon, Thou
That the sparrow falls dost allow.
It shall not cause me any alarm,
For neither so comes the bird to harm,
Seeing our Father, Thou hast said,
Is by the sparrow's dying bed;
Therefore it is a blessed place,
And the sparrow in high grace.
It cometh therefore to this. Lord;
I have considered Thy word,
And henceforth will be Thy bird.
George MacDonald, "Consider the Ravens," The Lady's Confession.