Run Run Ever (After George MacDonald’s “No End of No-Story”)

The first thing I ever read by George MacDonald was his most dreamy children’s novel, At the Back of the North Wind, a book which compelled me as much as it mystified me. I remember vividly the moment that I encountered the poem, sometimes entitled “No End of No-Story”, which appears in the novel – a strange, lullaby-like song which the main character, Diamond, heard on one of his journeys to the back of the North Wind. It is not perhaps one of MacDonald’s finest poems, yet it had a powerful effect on me when I first read it, and so I have tried to create some of that same effect with my own poem here.
 
Run Run Ever (After “No End of No-Story”)
 
“It’s such nonsense!” said his mother. “I believe it would go on for ever.”
“That’s just what it did,” said Diamond.
“What did?” she asked.
“Why, the river. That’s almost the very tune it used to sing.”
(George MacDonald, At the Back of the North Wind)
 
When we
tired ones
reach the
river
we will
sit by
its soft
streams and
see the
city
it makes
glad with
all its
streams and
all its
flowing,
see the
city,
see the
lamb whose
light is
now the
light of
living,
and we
will not
mourn for
dying
or wish
we were
back in
shadows
but, once
dreaming,
we now
wake to
find the
brightest
morning
where our
dreams prove
pale and
dying
and our
doubts are
swept a-
side in
days of
brightness
by this
ever-
running
river