The Auld Man’s Prayer by George MacDonald

Lord, I’m an auld man,
An’ I’m deein!
An’ do what I can
I canna help bein
Some feart at the thoucht!
I’m no what I oucht!
An’ thou art sae gran’,
Me but an auld man!

I haena gotten muckle
Guid o’ the warld;
Though siller a puckle
Thegither I hae harlt,
Noo I maun be rid o’ ‘t,
The ill an’ the guid o’ ‘t!
An’ I wud–I s’ no back frae ‘t–
Rather put til ‘t nor tak frae ‘t!

It’s a pity a body
Coudna haud on here,
Puttin cloddy to cloddy
Till he had a bit lan’ here!–
But eh I’m forgettin
Whaur the tide’s settin!
It’ll pusion my prayer
Till it’s no worth a hair!

It’s awfu, it’s awfu
To think ‘at I’m gaein
Whaur a’ ‘s ower wi’ the lawfu,
Whaur’s an en’ til a’ haein!
It’s gruesome to en’
The thing ‘at ye ken,
An’ gang to begin til
What ye canna see intil!

Thou may weel turn awa,
Lord, an’ say it’s a shame
‘At noo I suld ca’
On thy licht-giein name
Wha my lang life-time
Wud no see a stime!
An’ the fac’ there’s no fleein–
But hae pity–I’m deein!

I’m thine ain efter a’–
The waur shame I’m nae better!
Dinna sen’ me awa,
Dinna curse a puir cratur!
I never jist cheatit–
I own I defeatit,
Gart his poverty tell
On him ‘at maun sell!

Oh that my probation
Had lain i’ some region
Whaur was less consideration
For gear mixt wi’ religion!
It’s the mixin the twa
‘At jist ruins a’!
That kirk’s the deil’s place
Whaur gear glorifees grace!

See also  At Waking by Thomas Hardy

I hae learnt nought but ae thing
‘At life’s but a span!
I hae warslet for naething!
I hae noucht i’ my han’!
At the fut o’ the stairs
I’m sayin my prayers:–
Lord, lat the auld loon
Confess an’ lie doon.

I hae been an ill man–
Micht hae made a guid dog!
I could rin though no stan–
Micht hae won throu a bog!
But ‘t was ower easy gaein,
An’ I set me to playin!
Dinna sen’ me awa
Whaur’s no licht ava!

Forgie me an’ hap me!
I hae been a sharp thorn.
But, oh, dinna drap me!
I’ll be coothie the morn!
To my brither John
Oh, lat me atone–
An’ to mair I cud name
Gien I’d time to tak blame!

I hae wullt a’ my gear
To my cousin Lippit:
She needs ‘t no a hair,
An’ wud haud it grippit!
But I’m thinkin ‘t ‘ll be better
To gie ‘t a bit scatter
Whaur it winna canker
But mak a bit anchor!

Noo I s’try to sit loose
To the warld an’ its thrang!
Lord, come intil my hoose,
For Sathan sall gang!
Awa here I sen’ him–
Oh, haud the hoose agane him,
Or thou kens what he’ll daur–
He’ll be back wi’ seven waur!

Lord, I knock at thy yett!
I hear the dog yowlin!
Lang latna me wait–
My conscience is growlin!
Whaur but to thee
Wha was broken for me,
But to thee, Lord, sae gran’,
Can flee an auld man!

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