Ada Cambridge (21 November 1844 – 19 July 1926 / St Gemans, Norfolk)
Spirit and Breath of Life, whate'er Thy name!
Bear with Thy creature, Man,
That makes his dwelling-place a blot of shame
Upon the Ordered Plan.
Not Thy hand, O Divine Designer, hurled
Athwart the starlit skies
One blood-stained, greed-diseased, hate-eaten world,
To shock celestial eyes.
Not Thy default, O Beautiful, this crust
Of fratricidal crime,
These maggot-breeds of hunger and of lust
That Thy fair work begrime.
But ours, who mock Thee from the highest place,
And in the light of day;
Who claim to lead an upward-struggling race,
And will not seek the way.
Guards of the human birthright, at Thy call -
A city sacked and burned;
Guards of the house that is the home of all,
But whence the weak are spurned.
Brothers, to whom the outcast brothers cry
As with a voice unknown;
Stewards of Nature's bounty, that deny
The lawful heirs their own.
Thou that hast made us men, and earth so fair,
To be so vilely used,
Give space for late repentance and repair
Of sacred trust abused.
Give time, Eternal, that we stanch these tears,
Give time to heal this sore,
That our brief speck amid the shining spheres
Disgrace its birth no more.
But sail ethereal seas, an orb of light,
To bear Thy purpose on
Until it fades into the cosmic night
Where the dead worlds have gone.
Comments about this poem (A Prayer by Ada Cambridge )
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