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The Petitioners

From the Rock Island Argus, July 6, 1914. By Henry Howland.

Pray sometimes for the succor that the mighty among us need;
Pray for the kindness needed by the led and the ones who lead;
Pray when the day is ended and pray when the day begins
For the strength you need and the guidance and the pardoning of your sins,
But know that the Lord who watches o’er peasants and priests and kings
Blesses in fullest measure the men who are doing things.

Pray when the light is breaking for wisdom and strength and grace;
Pray when the day has ended and the stars gleam cold in space;
But the day was made for toiling; let the monk in his cloister pray;
Out in the world is duty claiming your care by day;
God in the great beginning wrought with a mighty hand,
Pausing not till His glory spread over sea and land.

They are lost who mumble prayers when the sun is high,
Turning away from duty, fearing to dare or try;
Sitting in dark seclusion, selfishly asking there
Glory in heaven as payment for the zeal that they show in prayer;
Over their heads the gleaming sword of destruction swings,
While God in His mercy listens to the men who are doing things.

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