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Prayer Before Birth - Poem by Louis Macneice

I am not yet born; O hear me.
Let not the bloodsucking bat or the rat or the stoat or the
club-footed ghoul come near me.

I am not yet born, console me.
I fear that the human race may with tall walls wall me,
with strong drugs dope me, with wise lies lure me,
on black racks rack me, in blood-baths roll me.

I am not yet born; provide me
With water to dandle me, grass to grow for me, trees to talk
to me, sky to sing to me, birds and a white light
in the back of my mind to guide me.

I am not yet born; forgive me
For the sins that in me the world shall commit, my words
when they speak me, my thoughts when they think me,
my treason engendered by traitors beyond me,
my life when they murder by means of my
hands, my death when they live me.

I am not yet born; rehearse me
In the parts I must play and the cues I must take when
old men lecture me, bureaucrats hector me, mountains
frown at me, lovers laugh at me, the white
waves call me to folly and the desert calls
me to doom and the beggar refuses
my gift and my children curse me.

I am not yet born; O hear me,
Let not the man who is beast or who thinks he is God
come near me.

I am not yet born; O fill me
With strength against those who would freeze my
humanity, would dragoon me into a lethal automaton,
would make me a cog in a machine, a thing with
one face, a thing, and against all those
who would dissipate my entirety, would
blow me like thistledown hither and
thither or hither and thither
like water held in the
hands would spill me.

Let them not make me a stone and let them not spill me.
Otherwise kill me.

Comments about Prayer Before Birth by Louis Macneice

  • Rookie Willem Ernst (1/5/2019 3:00:00 PM)

    I am reminded of Mark Twain here:

    Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

    Also it has a ring of false sentimentality about it that I do not like at all. A certain kind of immorality.

    One could also consider it to be an abortion propaganda piece. I'm not sure about abortus but I AM against all forms of propaganda. 😁 (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rookie van darkholme (9/10/2018 11:44:00 PM)

    shuo zhe shou la ji de dou mei you ma ma de fei wu, gu er men (Report) Reply

  • Rookie olivia (6/27/2018 11:31:00 AM)

    i hate this song it is bad (Report) Reply

    Rookie Willem Ernst (1/6/2019 1:11:00 PM)

    I agree; it is kind of immoral; in the sense of false sentimentality. A sort of baby abuse... 😲

    | Delete this reply
    Rookie olivia (6/27/2018 11:32:00 AM)

    i meant realy realy bad

    | Delete this reply
Read all 37 comments »

Poems About Birth

  1. 1. Prayer Before Birth , Louis Macneice
  2. 2. The Angel That Presided O'Er My Birth , William Blake
  3. 3. Before The Birth Of One Of Her Children , Anne Bradstreet
  4. 4. The Birth Of Love , William Wordsworth
  5. 5. Birth-Dues , Robinson Jeffers
  6. 6. A Rose In Birth , s./j. goldner
  7. 7. Sonnet 91: Some Glory In Their Birth, So.. , William Shakespeare
  8. 8. On Stella's Birth-Day, 1719 , Jonathan Swift
  9. 9. Between Birth N Death , indira babbellapati
  10. 10. Birth And Death , Algernon Charles Swinburne
  11. 11. #(Buddha) 01 The Birth Of Gautama Bud.. , Rajaram Ramachandran
  12. 12. Soul's Birth , Sara Teasdale
  13. 13. Sonnet 04: Not In This Chamber Only At M.. , Edna St. Vincent Millay
  14. 14. ##01 (Vivekananda) The Birth Of Hinduism , Rajaram Ramachandran
  15. 15. ' ' ' ' ' Tarab(Poem For Onelia On The .. , Dónall Dempsey
  16. 16. Stella’s Birth-Day. 1724-5 , Jonathan Swift
  17. 17. On The Birth Of His Son , Su Tung-po
  18. 18. Birth-Day Ode 03 , Robert Southey
  19. 19. Death And Birth , Algernon Charles Swinburne
  20. 20. Birth-Day Ode 02 , Robert Southey
  21. 21. To Mr. Thomas Southern, On His Birth-Day , Alexander Pope
  22. 22. Birth-Day Ode 01 , Robert Southey
  23. 23. A Birth-Day Wish , George MacDonald
  24. 24. On My Wife's Birth-Day , Christopher Smart
  25. 25. A Birth Of Poet , Hasmukhlal Amathalallal
  26. 26. The Birth Place Of Pleasure , Percy Bysshe Shelley
  27. 27. A Birth Day Wish*. , surya surya
  28. 28. A Birth-Night Song , Katharine Tynan
  29. 29. Stella’s Birth-Day.1719-20 , Jonathan Swift
  30. 30. Bec’s Birth-Day Nov. 8, 1726 , Jonathan Swift
  31. 31. An Ode Of The Birth Of Our Saviour , Robert Herrick
  32. 32. Letters From Women Given Up For Adoption.. , Joanne Monte
  33. 33. To Stella On Her Birth-Day, 1721-2 , Jonathan Swift
  34. 34. The Birth Of Man , Emma Lazarus
  35. 35. Sonnet Ii: Bridal Birth , Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  36. 36. Blind From My Birth , Christina Georgina Rossetti
  37. 37. A Pastoral Betwixt David, Thirsis, And T.. , James Thomson
  38. 38. Sonnet Xv: The Birth-Bond , Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  39. 39. Hope Is Like A Harebell Trembling From I.. , Christina Georgina Rossetti
  40. 40. ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' Birth Of The World(For.. , Dónall Dempsey
  41. 41. Britannia Rediviva: A Poem On The Birth .. , John Dryden
  42. 42. *****birth Of A Verse , Seema Aarella
  43. 43. Birth Day , Elise Paschen
  44. 44. Death And Birth , George MacDonald
  45. 45. Birth And Death. , Robert Crawford
  46. 46. The New Birth , Jones Very
  47. 47. From My Birth To My Death , Scarlet .....
  48. 48. A Poem For The Birth-Day Of The Right Ho.. , Anne Kingsmill Finch
  49. 49. On The Birth-Day Of Queen Katherine , Anne Killigrew
  50. 50. Tell's Birth-Place. Imitated From Stolberg , Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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