Not long ago, I prayed for dying grace,
For then I thought to see Thee face to face.
And now I ask (Lord, 'tis a weakling's cry)
That Thou wilt give me grace to live, not die.
Such foolish prayers! I know. Yet pray I must.
Lord help me -- help me not to see the dust!
And not to nag, nor fret because the blind
Hangs crooked, and the curtain sags behind.
But, oh! The kitchen cupboards! What a sight!
'T'will take at least a month to get them right.
And that last cocoa had a smoky taste,
And all the milk has boiled away to waste!
And -- no, I resolutely will not think
About the saucepans, nor about the sink.
These light afflictions are but temporal things --
To rise above them, wilt Thou lend me wings?
Then I shall smile when Jane, with towzled hair
(And lumpy gruel!), clatters up the stair.