Prayer

You talk o' prayer an' such -
Well, I jest don't know how;
I guess I got as much
Religion as a cow.
I fight an' drink an' swear;
Red hell I often raise,
But never said a prayer
In all my days.

I'm honest, right enough;
Don't take no stock in crimes;
I'm jest a dockside tough,
An' yet . . . an' yet sometimes,
If I should happen by
A church-door open wide
The chances are that I
Will sneak inside.

It's kin o' peaceful there,
Jest sittin' in a pew;
There's sompin' in the air
That rests me through an' through;
It does me heaps o' good
To see them candles glow,
So soothin' to the mood . . .
Why? - I don't know.

Unless that sittin' still
Can be a kind o' prayer;
My heart jest seems to fill
Wi' peace . . . Oh, God don't care
For guys the likes o' me;
I just ain't in His line:
But when the Cross I see,
I make the sign.

by Robert William Service

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