Prayer of Columbus

I can not rest, O God—I can not eat or drink or sleep,

Till I put forth myself, my prayer, once more to Thee,

Breathe, bathe myself once more in Thee—commune with Thee,

Report myself once more to Thee.

Thou knowest my years entire, my life,

(My long and crowded life of active work—not adoration merely;)

Thou knowest the prayers and vigils of my youth;

Thou knowest my manhood’s solemn and visionary meditations;

Thou knowest how, before I commenced, I devoted all to come to Thee;

Thou knowest I have in age ratified all those vows, and strictly kept them;

Thou knowest I have not once lost nor faith nor ecstasy in Thee;

(In shackles, prison’d, in disgrace, repining not,

Accepting all from Thee—as duly come from Thee.)

All my emprises have been fill’d with Thee,

My speculations, plans, begun and carried on in thoughts of Thee,

Sailing the deep, or journeying the land for Thee;

Intentions, purports, aspirations mine—leaving results to Thee.

O I am sure they really come from Thee!

The urge, the ardor, the unconquerable will,

The potent, felt, interior command, stronger than words,

A message from the Heavens, whispering to me even in sleep,

These sped me on.

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