Verse > Harvard Classics > Robert Burns > Poems and Songs
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Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
136. Prayer—O Thou Dread Power
 
 
  Lying at a reverend friend’s house one night, the author left the following verses in the room where he slept:—
 
 
O THOU dread Power, who reign’st above,
  I know thou wilt me hear,
When for this scene of peace and love,
  I make this prayer sincere.
 
The hoary Sire—the mortal stroke,        5
  Long, long be pleas’d to spare;
To bless this little filial flock,
  And show what good men are.
 
She, who her lovely offspring eyes
  With tender hopes and fears,        10
O bless her with a mother’s joys,
  But spare a mother’s tears!
 
Their hope, their stay, their darling youth.
  In manhood’s dawning blush,
Bless him, Thou God of love and truth,        15
  Up to a parent’s wish.
 
The beauteous, seraph sister-band—
  With earnest tears I pray—
Thou know’st the snares on ev’ry hand,
  Guide Thou their steps alway.        20
 
When, soon or late, they reach that coast,
  O’er Life’s rough ocean driven,
May they rejoice, no wand’rer lost,
  A family in Heaven!
 

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