Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
II. Prayer and Aspiration
“From the recesses of a lowly spirit”
Sir John Bowring (1792–1872)
FROM the recesses of a lowly spirit,
Our humble prayer ascends; O Father! hear it.
Upsoaring on the wings of awe and meekness,
          Forgive its weakness!
We see thy hand,—it leads us, it supports us;        5
We hear thy voice,—it counsels and it courts us;
And then we turn away; and still thy kindness
          Forgives our blindness.
O, how long-suffering, Lord! but thou delightest
To win with love the wandering: thou invitest,        10
By smiles of mercy, not by frowns or terrors,
          Man from his errors.
Father and Saviour! plant within each bosom
The seeds of holiness, and bid them blossom
In fragrance and in beauty bright and vernal,        15
          And spring eternal.

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