Menella Bute Smedley

A Prayer For One Beloved

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Father, I bring before Thy throne
A heart more dear to me than mine;
O! watch it with Thine eyes benign,
And take it, gently, for Thine own.
What there Thine eyes condemn, remove,
But not by purifying pains,—
Thy smile can cleanse the deepest stains,
And sin is melted in Thy love.
Pour in Thy light, Thy hope, Thy grace,
I would not have one shadow stay;
But when the whole is perfect day
Joy shall beseem so pure a place.
Glance lightly, arrows of the foe,
Glance lightly from a breast that wears
The buckler of a thousand prayers,—
Ye have no power to work it woe!

Across this heart, Time, softly pass,
As a stream flows and leaves no print,
Save fresher air and tenderer tint,
And lilies shining through the grass.
Be life a dome of leaves and dew
Through which far heaven is faintly seen,
And yet so lovely is the screen,
We scarce can wish a nearer view.
Ah, friend, how vain! Ev'n while I plead,
Perhaps thy doom is on its way;
The very moment of the day
Is fix'd on which thy heart must bleed.
I cannot bar the coming ill,
I can but fling my prayers above
To that Inexorable Love
Which hears, and works Its perfect will.
To It I trust thee! Let me stand
Beside thee through the painful years,
And give some comfort with my tears,
Though but the pressure of a hand.

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Menella Bute Smedley