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A Prayer in the Prospect of Death

by Robert Burns, 1781

O thou unknown, Almighty Cause
  Of all my hope and fear!
In whose dread presence, ere an hour,
  Perhaps i must appear!

If i have wander'd in those paths
  Of life I ought to shun,
As something, loudly, in my breast,
  Remonstrates i have done;

Thou know'st that Thou hast formed me
  With passions wild and strong;
And list'ning to their witching voice
  Has often led me wrong.

Where human weakness has come short,
  Or frailty stept aside,
Do Thou, All-Good-for such Thou art—
  In shades of darkness hide.

Where with intention I have err'd,
  No other plea I have,
But, Thou art good; and Goodness still
  Delighteth to forgive.

Published in Poems and Songs of Robert Burns

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