Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PRAYER, by HARRY HIBBARD KEMP

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First Line: I kneel not now to pray that thou
Last Line: For what I have not been.
Variant Title(s): Thanks;a Prayer
Subject(s): Prayer; Religion; Theology

I KNEEL not now to pray that thou
Make white one single sin,—
I only kneel to thank thee, Lord,
For what I have not been;

For deeds which sprouted in my heart
But ne'er to bloom were brought,
For monstrous vices which I slew
In the shambles of my thought—

Dark seeds the world has never guessed
By hell and passion bred,
Which never grew beyond the bud
That cankered in my head.

Some said I was a righteous man—
Poor fools! The gallow's tree
(If thou hadst let one foot to slip)
Had grown a limb for me.

So for the Man I might have been
My heart must cease to mourn—
'Twere best to praise the living Lord
For monsters never born,

To bend the spiritual knee
(Knowing myself within)
And thank the kind, benignant God
For what I have not been.

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