Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, EXHORTATION TO PRAYER, by MARGARET MERCER

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First Line: Not on a prayerless bed, not on a prayerless bed
Last Line: Prayer-crowned, on blessed bed.
Subject(s): Prayer

Not on a prayerless bed, not on a prayerless bed
Compose thy weary limbs to rest;
For they alone are blessed
With bamly sleep
Whom angels keep;
Nor, though by care oppressed,
Or anxious sorrow,
Or thought in many a coil perplexed
For coming morrow,
Lay not thy head
On prayerless bed.
For who can tell, when sleep thine eyes shall close,
That earthly cares and woes
To thee may e'er return?
Arouse, my soul!
Slumber control,
And let thy lamp burn brightly;
So shall thine eyes discern
Things pure and sightly;
Taught by the Spirit, learn
Never on a prayerless bed
To lay thine unblest head.
Hast thou no pining want, or wish, or care,
That calls for holy prayer?
Has thy day been so bright
That in its flight
There is no trace of sorrow?
And thou art sure to-morrow
Will be like this, and more
Abundant? Dost thou yet lay up thy store
And still make plans for more?
Thou fool! this very night
Thy soul may wing its flight.
Hast thou no being than thyself more dear,
That ploughs the ocean deep,
And when storms sweep
The wintry, lowering sky,
For whom thou wak'st and weepest?
Oh? when thy pangs are deepest,
Seek then the covenant ark of prayer;
For He that slumbereth not is there --
His ear is open to thy cry.
Oh, then, on prayerless bed
Lay not thy thoughtless head.
Arouse thee, weary soul, nor yield to slumber,
Till in communion blest
With the elect ye rest --
Those souls of countless numbers;
And with them raise
The note of praise,
Reaching from earth to heaven --
Chosen, redeemed, forgiven;
So lay thy happy head,
Prayer-crowned, on blessed bed.

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