Prayer for a Friend

Nighttime Blessing

If I could grant you any wish,
The best, most precious
Gift of all
Would be a night--
A long, full night--
Of dreamless,

I would guard
With my sword
This Child Prince
Who lies awake
Startling at every sound.

They would fear me,
All your demons,
For awesome am I
As I stand so challenged.

I drive them away:
Wraiths and Devils,
Vampyres and Thugs,
And every one of the
Nameless Things
Which affright you
In the night.

And if I should be
So slack as to doze,
And you cry in the night
And I fail to hear,
Hold fast to my talisman
There in your hand.
It may call down
Saints and angels,
May urge them to whisper
Sweet lullabies.
Lullabies I would sing you,
If only I could,
At the proper time.

If you strain
To hear and see,
But fail,
Remember the stone
And hold it fast.
It shields you as surely
As I myself,
A bit of my heart
Clutched in your fist.

Now sleep,
Child Prince,
For "all will be well,
And all will be well,
And all manner of things
Will be well…"


C.P. Warner
(with a little help from Julian of Norwich...)
© 24 June 2000


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