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James Whitcomb Riley - Ike Walton's Prayer

I crave, dear Lord, 
No boundless hoard 
Of gold and gear, 
Nor jewels fine, 
Nor lands, nor kine, 
Nor treasure-heaps of anything.- 
Let but a little hut be mine 
Where at the hearthstore I may hear 
The cricket sing, 
And have the shine 
Of one glad woman's eyes to make, 
For my poor sake, 
Our simple home a place divine;- 
Just the wee cot-the cricket's chirr- 
Love, and the smiling face of her. 

I pray not for 
Great riches, nor 
For vast estates, and castle-halls,- 
Give me to hear the bare footfalls 
Of children o’er 
An oaken floor, 
New-risen with sunshine, or bespread 
With but the tiny coverlet 
And pillow for the baby’s head; 
And pray Thou, may 
The door stand open and the day 
Send ever in a gentle breeze, 
With fragrance from the locust-trees, 
And drowsy moan of doves, and blur 
Of robin-chirps, and drove of bees, 
With afterhushes of the stir 
Of intermingling sounds, and then 
The good-wife and the smile of her 
Filling the silences again- 
The cricket’s call, 
And the wee cot, 
Dear Lord of all, 
Deny me not! 

I pray not that 
Men tremble at 
My power of place 
And lordly sway, - 
I only pray for simple grace 
To look my neighbor in the face 
Full honestly from day to day- 
Yield me this horny palm to hold, 
And I’ll not pray 
For gold;- 
The tanned face, garlanded with mirth, 
It hath the kingliest smile on earth- 
The swart brow, diamonded with sweat, 
Hath never need of coronet. 
And so I reach, 
Dear Lord, to Thee, 
And do beseech 
Thou givest me 
The wee cot, and the cricket’s chirr, 
Love, and the glad sweet face of her. 

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Ike Walton's Prayer - Comments and Information

Poet: James Whitcomb Riley
Poem: Ike Walton's Prayer
Poem of the Day: Nov 11 2013
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