And a Poor Prayer

by Laura Riding (1926)

And a poor prayer, in these days, to be simple.
What can the curled tongue say in a straighter way
When beauty breaks, even before we touch it
Into a thousand ardours at a thought?

Yet must the many be made one and fully
Needs still the same fright comfort and a kiss.
Keep us from questioning the hydra-headed
Philosophies, or hearing their replies.

If we must be more stupid to be kind,
May wisdom part from our commiserations
And be not seen among us again
Till we have loved without an understanding.

Then we shall weep, even as when we were wiser
But be not troubled with accounting for
The hidden grief; forget old words; beseech
The truth with silence, as we did with speech.

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