I ask not now for gold to gild
With mocking shine a weary frame;
The yearning of the mind is stilled,
I ask not now for Fame.
A rose-cloud, dimly seen above,
Melting in heaven’s blue depths away;
Oh, sweet, fond dream of human Love
For thee I may not pray.
But, bowed in lowliness of mind,
I make my humble wishes known;
I only ask a will resigned,
O Father, to Thine own!
To-day, beneath Thy chastening eye
I crave alone for peace and rest,
Submissive in Thy hand to lie,
And feel that it is best.
A marvel seems the Universe,
A miracle our Life and Death;
A mystery which I cannot pierce,
Around, above, beneath.
In vain I task my aching brain,
In vain the sage’s thought I scan,
I only feel how weak and vain,
How poor and blind, is man.
And now my spirit sighs for home,
And longs for light whereby to see,
And, like a weary child, would come,
O Father, unto Thee!
Though oft, like letters traced on sand,
My weak resolves have passed away,
In mercy lend Thy helping hand
Unto my prayer to-day!
– John Greenleaf Whittier