An Evening Prayer

By Bernard Barton

Before I close my eyes in sleep,
Lord, hear my evening prayer,
And deign a helpless child to keep,
With thy protecting care.
Though young in years, I have been taught
Thy name to love and fear;
Of thee to think with solemn thought;
Thy goodness to revere.
That goodness gives each simple flower
Its scent and beauty, too;
And feeds it in night’s darkest hour
With heaven’s refreshing dew.
The little birds that sing all day
In many a leafy wood,
By thee are clothed in plumage gay,
By thee supplied with food.
And when at night they cese to sing,
By thee protected still,
Their young ones sleep beneath their wing,
Secure from every ill.
Thus may’st thou guard with gracious arm
The bed whereon I lie,
And keep a child from every harm
By thine own watchful eye.

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