Prayer

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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