Home  »  The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century  »  Anna Lætitia Waring (1820–1910)

Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Hymns and Meditations. I. “Father, I know that all my life”

Anna Lætitia Waring (1820–1910)

  • “My times are in Thy hand.”
  • —Psalm xxxi. 15.

  • FATHER, I know that all my life

    Is portioned out for me,

    And the changes that are sure to come,

    I do not fear to see;

    But I ask Thee for a present mind

    Intent on pleasing Thee.

    I ask Thee for a thoughtful love,

    Through constant watching wise,

    To meet the glad with joyful smiles,

    And to wipe the weeping eyes;

    And a heart at leisure from itself,

    To soothe and sympathise.

    I would not have the restless will

    That hurries to and fro,

    Seeking for some great thing to do

    Or secret thing to know;

    I would be treated as a child,

    And guided where I go.

    Wherever in the world I am,

    In whatsoe’er estate,

    I have a fellowship with hearts

    To keep and cultivate;

    And a work of lowly love to do

    For the Lord on whom I wait.

    So I ask Thee for the daily strength,

    To none that ask denied,

    And a mind to blend with outward life

    While keeping at Thy side;

    Content to fill a little space,

    If Thou be glorified.

    And if some things I do not ask,

    In my cup of blessing be,

    I would have my spirit filled the more

    With grateful love to Thee—

    More careful—not to serve Thee much,

    But to please Thee perfectly.

    There are briers besetting every path,

    That call for patient care;

    There is a cross in every lot,

    And an earnest need for prayer;

    But a lowly heart that leans on Thee

    Is happy anywhere.

    In a service which Thy will appoints,

    There are no bonds for me,

    For my inmost heart is taught “the truth”

    That makes Thy children “free”;

    And a life of self-renouncing love

    Is a life of liberty.