Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1077. Prayer
 
By Charles Francis Richardson
 
 
    IF, when I kneel to pray,
    With eager lips I say:
“Lord, give me all the things that I desire,—
Health, wealth, fame, friends, brave heart, religious fire,
The power to sway my fellow-men at will,        5
And strength for mighty works to banish ill,”—
    In such a prayer as this
    The blessing I must miss.
 
    Or if I only dare
    To raise this fainting prayer:        10
“Thou seest, Lord, that I am poor and weak,
And cannot tell what things I ought to seek;
I therefore do not ask at all, but still
I trust thy bounty all my wants to fill,”—
    My lips shall thus grow dumb,        15
    The blessing shall not come.
 
    But if I lowly fall,
    And thus in faith I call:
“Through Christ, O Lord, I pray thee give to me
Not what I would, but what seems best to thee        20
Of life, of health, of service, and of strength,
Until to thy full joy I come at length,”—
    My prayer shall then avail,
    The blessing shall not fail.
 

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