The Souls Prayer


In childhood's pride I said to Thee:          "O Thou, who mad'st me of Thy breath,          Speak,

Master, and reveal to me          Thine inmost laws of life and death.          "Give me to drink each joy and pain          Which Thine eternal hand can mete,          For my insatiate soul can drain          Earth's utmost bitter, utmost sweet.          "Spare me no bliss, no pang of strife,          Withhold no gift or grief I crave,          The intricate lore of love and life          And mystic knowledge of the grave."          Lord,

Thou didst answer stern and low:          "Child,

I will hearken to thy prayer,          And thy unconquered soul shall know          All passionate rapture and despair.          "Thou shalt drink deep of joy and fame,         And love shall burn thee like a fire,          And pain shall cleanse thee like a flame,          To purge the dross from thy desire.          "So shall thy chastened spirit yearn          To seek from its blind prayer release,          And spent and pardoned, sue to learn          The simple secret of My peace.          I, bending from my sevenfold height,          Will teach thee of My quickening grace,          Life is a prism of My light,          And Death the shadow of My face."

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