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O Do Not Leave Me

O do not leave me, mother, till I sleep;
Be near me until I forget; sit there.
And the child having prayed lest she should weep,
Sleeps in the strength of prayer.

O do not leave me, lover, brother, friends,
Till I am dead, and resting in my place.
And the girl, having prayed, in silence bends
Down to the earth's embrace.

Leave me not, God, until--nay, until when?
Not till I have with thee one heart, one mind;
Not till the Life is Light in me, and then
Leaving is left behind.

George MacDonald