Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
741. A Child’s Wish
Before an Altar
By Abram Joseph Ryan
I WISH I were the little key
  That locks Love’s Captive in,
And lets Him out to go and free
  A sinful heart from sin.
I wish I were the little bell        5
  That tinkles for the Host,
When God comes down each day to dwell
  With hearts He loves the most.
I wish I were the chalice fair,
  That holds the Blood of Love,        10
When every gleam lights holy prayer
  Upon its way above.
I wish I were the little flower
  So near the Host’s sweet face,
Or like the light that half an hour        15
  Burns on the shrine of grace.
I wish I were the altar where,
  As on His mother’s breast,
Christ nestles, like a child, fore’er
  In Eucharistic rest.        20
But, oh! my God, I wish the most
  That my poor heart may be
A home all holy for each Host
  That comes in love to me.


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