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Father, I Know

( Originally Published 1868 )


FATHER, I know that all my life
Is portioned out by thee,
And the changes that will surely come
I do not fear to see ;
But I ask thee for a quiet mind,
Intent on pleasing thee.

I ask thee for a thankful love,
Through constant watchings wise,
To meet the glad with cheerful smile,
And to wipe the weeping eyes ;
And a heart at leisure from itself
To soothe and sympathize.

I would not have the restless will
That wanders to and fro,
Seeking for some great thing to do
Or secret thing to know :
I would be dealt with as a child,
Led, guided where to go.

Wherever in the world I am,
In whatsoe'er estate,
I have a fellowship with other hearts
To keep and cultivate ;
And a work of holy love to do
For the Lord on whom I wait.

I ask thee for the daily strength
To none that ask denied,
And a mind to blend with outward life
While keeping at thy side--
Content to fill a little space,
So thou be glorified!

And if some things I do not ask
In my cup of blessing be,
I would have my spirit filled the more
With gratitude to thee.
More careful than to serve thee much,
To serve thee perfectly.

There are thorns besetting every path,
That call for patient care ;
There is a crook in every lot,
And a need for earnest prayer ;
But a lowly heart that leans on thee
Is happy everywhere.

In a service that thy ove appoints
There are no bonds for me ;
For my secret heart is taught the truth
That makes thy children free;
And a life of self-renouncing love
Is a life of liberty.

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