A Prayer

A poem by John Charles McNeill

If many years should dim my inward sight,
Till, stirred with no emotion,
I might stand gazing at the fall of night
Across the gloaming ocean;

Till storm, and sun, and night, vast with her stars,
Would seem an oft-told story,
And the old sorrow of heroic wars
Be faded of its glory;

Till, hearing, while June's roses blew their musk,
The noise of field and city,
The human struggle, sinking tired at dusk,
I felt no thrill of pity;

Till dawn should come without her old desire,
And day brood o'er her stages,--
O let me die, too frail for nature's hire,
And rest a million ages.

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