Verse > Anthologies > Louis Untermeyer, ed. > Modern American Poetry
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Louis Untermeyer, ed. (1885–1977). Modern American Poetry.  1919.
 
Louis Untermeyer. 1885–
 
107. Prayer
 
GOD, though this life is but a wraith, 
    Although we know not what we use, 
Although we grope with little faith, 
    Give me the heart to fight—and lose. 
  
Ever insurgent let me be,         5
    Make me more daring than devout; 
From sleek contentment keep me free, 
    And fill me with a buoyant doubt. 
  
Open my eyes to visions girt 
    With beauty, and with wonder lit—  10
But always let me see the dirt, 
    And all that spawn and die in it. 
  
Open my ears to music; let 
    Me thrill with Spring's first flutes and drums— 
But never let me dare forget  15
    The bitter ballads of the slums. 
  
From compromise and things half done, 
    Keep me with stern and stubborn pride; 
And when at last the fight is won, 
    God, keep me still unsatisfied.  20
 
 
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