Nonfiction > Lionel Strachey, et al., eds. > The World’s Wit and Humor > American
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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes.  1906.
Vols. I–V: American
 
The Prayer of Cyrus Brown
By Sam Walter Foss (1858–1911)
 
“THE PROPER way for a man to pray,”
  Said Deacon Lemuel Keyes,
“And the only proper attitude,
  Is down upon his knees.”
 
“No, I should say the way to pray,”        5
  Said Reverend Doctor Wise,
“Is standing straight, with outstretched arms,
  And rapt and upturned eyes.”
 
“Oh no; no, no,” said Elder Slow,
  “Such posture is too proud:        10
A man should pray with eyes fast closed
  And head contritely bowed.”
 
“It seems to me his hands should be
  Austerely clasped in front,
With both thumbs pointing toward the ground,”        15
  Said Reverend Doctor Blunt.
 
“Las’ year I fell in Hodgkin’s well
  Head first,” said Cyrus Brown,
“With both my heels a-stickin’ up,
  My head a-p’inting down;        20
 
“An’ I made a prayer right then an’ there—
  Best prayer I ever said,
The prayingest prayer I ever prayed,
  A-standing on my head.”
 
 
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