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Tuesday, 17 March 2009

A Victorian child's morning prayer

My Wynne Grandmother knew and liked this morning prayer. She copied it out onto a large sheet of paper and illustrated it with water-colour. Then she framed it, and, taking me with her, she took it to the Birds' Nest orphanage and presented it. I thought it was all lovely, but looking back now, I wonder what the children made of it. If you think of Lark Rise to Candleford, it is really a prayer for the family in the big house to say, as they watch the Lark Rise workers go off to the fields. Anyway, the verse has a memorable lilt to it, though I have forgotten the last two lines at least.

I was reminded of the prayer because once again the view from my bedroom window this morning was sunny and lovely, and if there were no larks, there were other delightful bird songs.

The darkness is over, the sun is on high.
The lark is up singing its song in the sky.
The cattle and labourers all are abroad
And everyone serving and praising the Lord.

I will not lie sleeping my morning away,
But try to be busy and useful all day.
I'll rise with the skylark and join in his song
And thank God for watching me all the night long.

How kind God is to me, how great and how good,
And for me my Saviour has shed his own blood.
Lord, teach me that Saviour to love and to know,
And make me more like him the older I grow.

How early he rose to find time for his prayer,
And his own dear Mother he honoured with care.

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