I prayed for riches, and achieved success;
    All that I touched turned into gold. Alas!
My cares were greater and my peace was less,
    When that wish came to pass.

I prayed for glory, and I heard my name
    Sung by sweet children and by hoary men.
But ah! the hurts---the hurts that come with fame!
    I was not happy then.

I prayed for Love, and had my heart's desire.
    Through quivering heart and body, and through brain
There swept the flame of its devouring fire,
    And but the scars remain.

I prayed for a contented mind. At length
    Great light upon my darkened spirit burst.
Great peace fell on me also, and great strength---
    Oh, had that prayer been first!

Poetical works of Ella Wheeler Wilcox. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Edinburgh : W. P. Nimmo, Hay, & Mitchell, 1917.

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