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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 Madhuri Sahu (3/28/2018 6:27:00 AM)

    This is a critically nice poem. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Rookie Nico D (3/12/2018 6:44:00 AM)

    This poem sucks and blows. Absolute rubbish. How does the child know all this stuff if he ain't born yet. Checkmate atheists.1 Star (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Richard (3/12/2018 6:27:00 AM)

    This poem sucks and blows. Complete rubbish. How does he know so much when he is not born. Argue against that one god.1 star (Report) Reply

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