Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PRAYER FOR LIGHT, by ALICE CARY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

PRAYER FOR LIGHT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Oh what is thy will toward us mortals
Last Line: Our poor human strength!
Subject(s): God

OH what is Thy will toward us mortals,
Most Holy and High?
Shall we die unto life while we're living?
Or die while we die?

Can we serve Thee and wait on Thee only
In cells, dark and low?
Must the altars we build Thee be built with
The stones of our woe?

Shall we only attain the great measures
Of grace and of bliss
In the life that awaits us, by cruelly
Warring on this?

Or, may we still watch while we work, and
Be glad while we pray?
So reverent, we cast the poor shows of
Our reverence away!

Shall the nature thou gav'st us, pronouncing it
Good, and not ill,
Be warped by our pride or our passion
Outside of Thy will?

Shall the sins which we do in our blindness
Thy mercy transcend,
And drag us down deeper and deeper
Through worlds without end?

Or, are we stayed back in sure limits,
And Thou, high above,
O'erruling our trials for our triumph,
Our hatreds for love?

And is each soul rising, though slowly,
As onward it fares,
And are life's good things and its evil
The steps in the stairs?

All day with my heart and my spirit,
In fear and in awe,
I strive to feel out through my darkness
Thy light and Thy law.

And this, when the sun from his shining
Goes sadly away,
And the moon looketh out of her chamber,
Is all I can say;

That He who foresaw of transgression
The might and the length,
Has fashioned the law to exceed not
Our poor human strength!

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