Verse > John Greenleaf Whittier > The Poetical Works in Four Volumes
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892).  The Poetical Works in Four Volumes.  1892.
Religious Poems
The Wish of To-Day
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,        5
  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;        10
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,        15
  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.        20
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,        25
  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,        30
In mercy lend Thy helping hand
  Unto my prayer to-day!


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