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.

Analysis, meaning and summary of James Whitcomb Riley's poem Ike Walton’s Prayer

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