I prayed for riches, and achieved success;
All that I touched turned into gold. Alas!
My cares were greater and my peace was less,
When that wish came to pass.

I prayed for glory, and I heard my name
Sung by sweet children and by hoary men.
But ah! the hurts — the hurts that come with fame.
I was not happy then.

I prayed for Love, and had my heart’s desire.
Through quivering heart and body, and through brain,
There swept the flame of its devouring fire,
And but the scars remain.

I prayed for a contented mind. At length
Great light upon my darkened spirit burst.
Great peace fell on me also, and great strength —
Oh, had that prayer been first!

Analysis, meaning and summary of Ella Wheeler Wilcox's poem Answered Prayers

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