My Kingdom

A poem by Louisa May Alcott

A little kingdom I possess,
Where thoughts and feelings dwell;
And very hard I find the task
Of governing it well.
For passion tempts and troubles me,
A wayward will misleads,
And selfishness its shadow casts
On all my words and deeds.

"How can I learn to rule myself,
To be the child I should, --
Honest and brave, -- nor ever tire
Of trying to be good?
How can I keep a sunny soul
To shine along life's way?
How can I tune my little heart
To sweetly sing all day?

"Dear Father, help me With the love
That casteth out my fear!
Teach me to lean on thee, and feel
That thou art very near;
That no temptation is unseen,
No childish grief too small,
Since Thou, with patience infinite,
Doth soothe and comfort all.

"I do not ask for any crown,
But that which all may will
Nor seek to conquer any world
Except the one within.
Be then my guide until I find,
Led by a tender hand,
Thy happy kingdom in myself,
And dare to take command."

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