Prayer (Smart)

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Hymn XVIII. Prayer  (1771) 
by Christopher Smart
From the Hymns for the Amusement of Children (1771).
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                     HYMN XVIII.                     

PRAYER.


Pray without ceasing (says the Saint)[1]
Nor ever in the spirit faint;[2]
With grace the bloom and faith the root,[3]
The pray'r shall bring eternal fruit.

5 When the great Seer sad news did bring
To Ahab, e'en that wicked king![4]
Hear what the word of mercy says,
Spare thou the man, "behold he prays".[5]

Our hopes Christ Jesus to elate,
10 Has bid us be importunate,
And with the bustling widow vie,
That triumph'd over tyranny.[6]

'Tis peace, 'tis dignity, 'tis ease,
To bless the Lord upon our knees;
15 The voice and attitude of fear,
For God's own eye, for God's own ear.

Christ Jesus when the Twelve besought
His aid, the PATER NOSTER taught;[7]
By giving glory we begin,
20 And end in deprecating sin.[8]

Then give the glory yet again,
For who wou'd be in grief or pain,
Or brook anxiety and care,
When the quick remedy is pray'r.


1771


Notes

  1. 1. See 1 Thessalonians 5:17: "Pray without ceasing."<--! Непрестанно молитесь.! -->
  2. 2. See Luke 18:1: And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint...
  3. 3. See for the metaphor of the "root of faith" in the parable of the sower, Matthew 13:6: "And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away". Also in Jubilate Agno JA B499.
  4. 5—6. "The great Seer" is Elijah. See 1 Kings 21:17—29.
  5. 8. In ed. 1786: "...Spare thou the man, behold he prays.""
  6. 9 —12. See Luke 11:8 and 18:1—8.
  7. 17 —18. See Luke 11:1—4.
  8. 20. deprecating: in the original sense, "praying against (evil)". (According to the Commentary by Karina Williamson)
This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.