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Short poem

Anna Letitia Waring (1823-1910)

Father, I Know that all my Life


"My times are in Thy hand." -- Psalm XXXI.15

              1Father, I know that all my life
              2   Is portioned out for me,
              3And the changes that are sure to come,
              4   I do not fear to see;
              5But I ask Thee for a present mind
              6   Intent on pleasing Thee.

              7I ask Thee for a thoughtful love,
              8   Through constant watching wise,
              9To meet the glad with joyful smiles,
            10   And to wipe the weeping eyes;
            11And a heart at leisure from itself,
            12   To soothe and sympathise.

            13I would not have the restless will
            14   That hurries to and fro,
            15Seeking for some great thing to do
            16   Or secret thing to know;
            17I would be treated as a child,
            18   And guided where I go.

            19Wherever in the world I am,
            20   In whatsoe'er estate,
            21I have a fellowship with hearts
            22   To keep and cultivate;
            23And a work of lowly love to do
            24   For the Lord on whom I wait.

            25So I ask Thee for the daily strength,
            26   To none that ask denied,
            27And a mind to blend with outward life
            28   While keeping at Thy side;
            29Content to fill a little space,
            30   If Thou be glorified.

            31And if some things I do not ask,
            32   In my cup of blessing be,
            33I would have my spirit filled the more
            34   With grateful love to Thee --
            35More careful -- not to serve Thee much,
            36   But to please Thee perfectly.

            37There are briers besetting every path,
            38   That call for patient care;
            39There is a cross in every lot,
            40   And an earnest need for prayer;
            41But a lowly heart that leans on Thee
            42   Is happy anywhere.

            43In a service which Thy will appoints,
            44   There are no bonds for me,
            45For my inmost heart is taught "the truth"
            46   That makes Thy children "free;"
            47And a life of self-renouncing love
            48   Is a life of liberty.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: A. L. Waring, Hymns and Meditations, new edn. (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1911), no. I. 04430.a.1 British Library
First publication date: 1850
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 2001
Recent editing: 2:2002/2/28

Composition date: 1846
Composition date note: (p. 10)
Rhyme: abcbdb

Other poems by Anna Letitia Waring