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Poem by Bessie Rayner Parkes


WE pray for earth and earthly things,
Surely such prayer is nought,
A bended knee, a lifted voice
Unmixed with holy thought.
To pray for grandeur, power, or gain--
Surely such praying is in vain.

We pray for life when death is nigh,
It is an earnest prayer;
But often when 'tis on the lip
Submission wanteth there.
We say, "Thy Will," but know too well
How does the frail fond heart rebel!

When human creatures pray for light,
The prayer is very good,
It surely dawns--and if for grace,
It welleth as a flood;
Yet selfish yearnings half control
The purest and the noblest soul.

Prayer owns one test which they alone
Can utter with unshrinking voice,
Who, rendering up each earthly joy,
Can yet find reason to rejoice;
That of the Godhead's sorrowing Son--
"Father, Thy will, not Mine, be done."

Bessie Rayner Parkes

Bessie Rayner Parkes's other poems:
  1. The Mersey and the Irwell
  2. The Watch in Heaven
  3. At First
  4. A Carol for Willie
  5. The Dead Love

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • George Herbert Prayer ("Prayer the Churches banquet, Angels age")
  • James Flecker Prayer ("Let me not know how sins and sorrows glide")
  • Philip Bailey Prayer ("Yea! even here as everywhere, let man")
  • Rose Cooke Prayer ("Oh, Love divine, ineffable!")

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