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Who is behind your mask?

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"I am" by Mira Watanabe (2005)
"The Fool's Prayer" by Edward Rowland Sill (1841-1887)



THE FOOL'S PRAYER

by: Edward Rowland Sill (1841-1887)

 

THE royal feast was done; the King A

Sought some new sport to banish care,

And to his jester cried: "Sir Fool,

Kneel now, and make for us a prayer!"

The jester doffed his cap and bells,

And stood the mocking court before;

They could not see the bitter smile

Behind the painted grin he wore.

He bowed his head, and bent his knee

Upon the Monarch's silken stool;

His pleading voice arose: "O Lord,

Be merciful to me, a fool!

"No pity, Lord, could change the heart

From red with wrong to white as wool;

The rod must heal the sin: but Lord,

Be merciful to me, a fool!

"'T is not by guilt the onward sweep

Of truth and right, O Lord, we stay;

'T is by our follies that so long

We hold the earth from heaven away.

"These clumsy feet, still in the mire,

Go crushing blossoms without end;

These hard, well-meaning hands we thrust

Among the heart-strings of a friend.

"The ill-timed truth we might have kept--

Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung?

The word we had not sense to say--

Who knows how grandly it had rung!

"Our faults no tenderness should ask.

The chastening stripes must cleanse them all;

But for our blunders -- oh, in shame

Before the eyes of heaven we fall.

"Earth bears no balsam for mistakes;

Men crown the knave, and scourge the tool

That did his will; but Thou, O Lord,

Be merciful to me, a fool!"

The room was hushed; in silence rose

The King, and sought his gardens cool,

And walked apart, and murmured low,

"Be merciful to me, a fool!"

 

 
Copyright 2004 Mira Watanabe. All Rights Reserved.