A Prayer (Cranch)

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O Spirit pure ! though trite and faded forms
Point like a cold clock-finger to thy Truth,
And but a glimmer of thy radiance warms
The symbols that should glow with Nature's youth;
Though men of selfish codes may hide or darken
That light of thine own purity and love,
So that we scarce may still the world, and hearken
To thy sweet voice that droppeth from above;
Though man be false, and institutions vain,
Not false or vain let thy high Presence be;
Through icy custom, and through man's disdain,
Shine on my heart, and set my spirit free!
Be still my nameless hope, my secret joy,
That comes, and comes again in hours of rest;
My rock of strength that passeth all annoy;
My dove of heaven that broodeth in my breast.
Be all thou can'st — be all I inly need!
The world may weigh me down, but not enslave:
The burden shall roll off, and I be freed,
If I but trust the strength thy mercy gave.

C. P. C. [Christopher Pearse Cranch]

  • Christopher Pearse Cranch, “A Prayer,” The Present 1, no. 1 (September 1843): 10.