The Universal Prayer
Father of All! in every Age,
In every Clime ador'd,
By Saint, by Savage, and by Sage,
Jehovah, Jove, or Lord!
Thou Great First Cause, least Understood!
Who all my Sense confin'd
To know but this, -- that Thou art Good,
And that my self am blind:
Yet gave me, in this dark Estate,
To see the Good from Ill;
And binding Nature fast in Fate,
Left free the Human Will.
What Conscience dictates to be done,
Or warns me not to doe,
This, teach me more than Hell to shun,
That, more than Heav'n pursue.
What Blessings thy free Bounty gives,
Let me not cast away;
For God is pay'd when Man receives,
T' enjoy, is to obey.
Yet not to Earth's contracted Span,
Thy Goodness let me bound;
Or think Thee Lord alone of Man,
When thousand Worlds are round.
Let not this weak, unknowing hand
Presume Thy Bolts to throw,
And deal Damnation round the land,
On each I judge thy Foe.
If I am right, oh teach my heart
Still in the right to say;
If I am wrong, Thy Grace impart
To find that better Way.
Save me alike from foolish Pride,
Or impious Discontent,
At ought thy Wisdom has deny'd,
Or ought thy Goodness lent.
Teach me to feel another's Woe;
To hide the Fault I see;
That Mercy I to others show,
That Mercy show to me.
Mean tho' I am, not wholly so
Since quicken'd by thy Breath,
O lead me wheresoe'er I go,
Thro' this day's Life, or Death:
This day, be Bread and Peace my Lot;
All else beneath the Sun,
Thou know'st if best bestow'd, or not;
And let Thy Will be done.
To Thee, whose Temple is all Space,
Whose Altar, Earth, Sea, Skies:
One Chorus let all Being raise!
All Nature's Incense rise!
~Alexander Pope (1688-1744)