Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A PRAYER, by GEORGE BARLOW (1847-1913)



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A PRAYER, by            
First Line: May the strong arms of god be ever round about thee!
Last Line: "die not thou for her,—never,—for I can."
Subject(s): God; Hearts; Love - Nature Of; Prayer; Religion; Theology


May the strong arms of God be ever round about thee!
Yea, mayest thou feel the sense of summer sun throughout thee
Pass, even on the gas-lit boards!
I can do nothing more. Lo! I can only love thee.
But the great love of God around thee and above thee
Can flow, and guard thee more than shields or swords.

"To-night and every night"—so doth my deep strong yearning
Float upward towards God's throne—"do thou, Lord God, with burning
Impassioned fence of angels' wings
Guard her and hold her safe: or guard her with my passion,
Changed to a fiery sword of unexampled fashion!
Change to an iron shield this heart that sings!

"Make thou my soul so pure that prayer may find and reach her
And with strong fervent mouth and might divine beseech her,
If e'er her footsteps turn aside.
Oh, let me be the voice of rivers and of mountains:
Give thou my song the ring of old flower-bordered fountains:
Let somewhat of me in her heart abide.

"I have the love, but not the power to guard and shield her.
Thou hast the power, O God. To thee then, God, I yield her:—
To thee: but not to mortal man.
Yet, this I ask,—this much: if thou must ever save her
By gift of death, Lord God,—take this, the heart I gave her;
Die not thou for her,—never,—for I can."





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