A Prayer

God! do not let my loved one die,
But rather wait until the time
That I am grown in purity
Enough to enter thy pure clime,
Then take me, I will gladly go,
So that my love remain below!

Oh, let her stay! She is by birth
What I through death must learn to be;
We need her more on our poor earth
Than thou canst need in heaven with thee:
She hath her wings already, I
Must burst this earth-shell ere I fly.

Then, God, take me! We shall be near,
More near than ever, each to each:
Her angel ears will find more clear
My heavenly than my earthly speech;
And still, as I draw nigh to thee,
Her soul and mine shall closer be.

by James Russell Lowell

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