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The Hills

Behind my father's house there lies
A little grassy brae,
Whose face my childhood's busy feet
Ran often up in play,
Whence on the chimneys I looked down
In wonderment alway.

Around the house, where'er I turned,
Great hills closed up the view;
The town 'midst their converging roots
Was clasped by rivers two;
From one hill to another sprang
The sky's great arch of blue.

Oh! how I loved to climb their sides,
And in the heather lie;
The bridle on my arm did hold
The pony feeding by;
Beneath, the silvery streams; above,
The white clouds in the sky.

And now, in wandering about,
Whene'er I see a hill,
A childish feeling of delight
Springs in my bosom still;
And longings for the high unknown
Follow and flow and fill.

For I am always climbing hills,
And ever passing on,
Hoping on some high mountain peak
To find my Father's throne;
For hitherto I've only found
His footsteps in the stone.

And in my wanderings I have met
A spirit child like me,
Who laid a trusting hand in mine,
So fearlessly and free,
That so together we have gone,
Climbing continually.

Upfolded in a spirit bud,
The child appeared in space,
Not born amid the silent hills,
But in a busy place;
And yet in every hill we see
A strange, familiar face.

For they are near our common home;
And so in trust we go,
Climbing and climbing on and on,
Whither we do not know;
Not waiting for the mournful dark,
But for the dawning slow.

Clasp my hand closer yet, my child,--
A long way we have come!
Clasp my hand closer yet, my child,--
For we have far to roam,
Climbing and climbing, till we reach
Our Heavenly Father's home.

George MacDonald