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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Right Use of Prayer
By Sir Aubrey de Vere (1788–1846)
 
THEREFORE when thou wouldst pray, or dost thine alms,
  Blow not a trump before thee; hypocrites
  Do thus, vaingloriously; the common streets
Boast of their largess, echoing their psalms.
On such the laud of man, like unctuous balms,        5
  Falls with sweet savor. Impious counterfeits!
  Prating of heaven, for earth their bosom beats!
Grasping at weeds, they lose immortal palms!
God needs not iteration nor vain cries:
  That man communion with his God might share        10
  Below, Christ gave the ordinance of prayer:
Vague ambages and witless ecstasies
Avail not: ere a voice to prayer be given,
The heart should rise on wings of love to heaven.
 
 
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