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

By “When daily I kneel down to pray”

Jane Taylor (1783–1824)

WHEN daily I kneel down to pray,

As I am taught to do,

God does not care for what I say

Unless I feel it too.

Yet foolish thoughts my heart beguile;

And when I pray or sing,

I’m often thinking all the while

About some other thing.

Some idle play, or childish toy,

Can send my thoughts abroad;

Though this should be my greatest joy—

To love and seek the Lord.

Oh! let me never, never dare

To act the trifler’s part;

Or think that God will hear a prayer

That comes not from my heart.

But if I make His ways my choice,

As holy children do,

Then, while I seek Him with my voice,

My heart will love Him too.