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    Prayer - Under the Pressure of Violent Anguish

    by Robert Burns
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    ["There was a certain period of my life," says Burns, "that my spirit
    was broke by repeated losses and disasters, which threatened and
    indeed effected the ruin of my fortune. My body, too, was attacked by
    the most dreadful distemper, a hypochondria or confirmed melancholy.
    In this wretched state, the recollection of which makes me yet
    shudder, I hung my harp on the willow-trees, except in some lucid
    intervals, in one of which I composed the following."]

    O Thou Great Being! what Thou art
    Surpasses me to know;
    Yet sure I am, that known to Thee
    Are all Thy works below.

    Thy creature here before Thee stands,
    All wretched and distrest;
    Yet sure those ills that wring my soul
    Obey Thy high behest.

    Sure Thou, Almighty, canst not act
    From cruelty or wrath!
    O, free my weary eyes from tears,
    Or close them fast in death!

    But if I must afflicted be,
    To suit some wise design;
    Then, man my soul with firm resolves
    To bear and not repine!

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