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Heed not flowers that round thee bloom,
Bear it onward to the tomb !

Haste not ! let no thoughtless deed
Mar for aye the spirit's speed !
Ponder well and know the right,
Onward then with all thy might!
Hafte not ! years can ne'er atone
For one reckless action done.

Rest not ! life is sweeping by,
Go and dare before you die :
Something mighty and sublime
Leave behind to conquer time!
Glorious 't is to live for aye,
When these forms have passed away.

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OT on a prayerless bed, not on a prayerless bed
Compose thy weary limbs to rest;
For they alone are blest

With balmy sleep

Whom angels keep ;
Nor, though by care oppressed,

Or anxious sorrow,
Or thought in many a coil perplexed

For coming morrow,
Lay not thy head
On prayerless bed.

For who can tell, when sleep thine eye shall close,

That earthly cares and woes
To thee may e'er return ?

Arouse, my soul !

Slumber control,
And let thy lamp burn brightly ;

So shall thine eyes discern

Things pure and sightly ;

Taught by the spirit ; learn
Never on prayerless bed
To lay thine unblest head.

Hast thou no pining want, or wish, or care,

That calls for holy prayer ?
Has thy day been so bright

That in its fight
There is no trace of sorrow ?
And art thou sure to-morrow

Will be like this, and more
Abundant ? Dost thou yet lay up thy store,

And still make plans for more?
Thou fool! this very night
Thy soul may wing its fight.

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Arouse thee, weary soul, nor yield to flumber!

Till in communion blest

With the elect ye rest,
Those souls of countless number;

And with them raise

The note of praise,
Reaching from earth to Heaven:
Chosen, redeemed, forgiven!

So lay thy happy head,
Prayer-crowned, on blessed bed.

Margaret Mercer.


“I will, therefore, that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” — 1 Tim. ii. 8.

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E not afraid to pray, — to pray is right.

Pray, if thou canst, with hope ; but ever pray, Though hope be weak, or sick with long delay ; Pray in the darkness, if there be no light. Far is the time, remote from human fight,

When war and discord on the earth shall cease ;

Yet every prayer for universal peace
Avails the blessed time to expedite.
Whate'er is good to wish, ask that of Heaven,

Though it be what thou canst not hope to see ;

Pray to be perfect, though material leaven

Forbid the spirit so on earth to be ;
But if for any wish thou darest not pray,
Then pray to God to cast that with away.

Hartley Coleridge. 1840.


THE prayers I make will then be sweet indeed,
1 If Thou the spirit give by which I pray ;
My unaslisted heart is barren clay,
That of its native self can nothing feed;
Of good and pious works Thou art the seed

That quickens only where Thou sayft it may.
Unless Thou show to us Thy own true way,
No man can find it: Father! Thou must lead;

Do Thou then breathe those thoughts into my mind By which such virtue may in me be bred That in Thy holy footsteps I may tread;

The fetters of my tongue do Thou unbind, That I may have the power to sing to Thee, And sound Thy praises everlastingly!

Michel Angelo. Trans. by Wordsworth. 1474 - 1564.

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