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Prayer of the Cows

by Sam Gold

Prayer of the Cows


O light deliver us

Thy lowly slaves,

You who feed us

The bread of sorrow.

May the sky weep over us

And wash our babes

Whom our master leads from us

Though not to borrow.

O light redeem thy secret vassals!

 

Weary with grief we shake off

The cold.

Though our ribs protrude

We shun the feed,

All magic fled from morning�s

New born gold.

O why does he ignore our pain,

Our need?

O light redeem thy secret vassals!

 

He hears our cries

As we hear theirs.

We bleed inside, enchained

Within the iron fold.

He sees their eyes,

Perceives our stares.

O send the love that foils

The Tempter bold!

O light redeem thy secret vassals!

 

No rolling pastures will he

Let us roam.

To shadows born,

To shadows we retire,

Our bodies racked,

Our souls ensnared,

By the tyranny

Of false desire.

O light redeem thy secret vassals!

 

He slays our past

Nor lets our future be.

Our present seems a

Flickering of night.

Though no Moses soon may

Set us free

From the charnel house

Of unrelieved sight,

O light redeem thy secret vassals!

 

Yet our master, too,

Is he not thy child?

O shine within

That we may understand

The false infinity

Of appetite,

The darkness of the sins

Of beast and man.

O light redeem thy secret vassals!

 

Our young who are

Allowed to grow,

Though exiled from

Thy sunbeams and clear air,

O may they find the choir

Our mothers knew,

And may they carry on

The prayer!

O light redeem thy secret vassals!

 

Mournful sisters,

Fare thee well!

You�ve known the fatal toil,

The patient trust.

O light how may we

Know thy will?

For soon the wagon

Calls for us.

O light redeem thy secret vassals!

 

And when the prison gates

Yawn wide,

Guide us to the courage

Angels show.

Then may we soon

In heaven�s arms reside,

At the streams and meadows

Where our babies go.

O light redeem thy secret vassals!

 

All the earth proclaims

Thy glory.

May the veil soon fall

From his daily crimes!

O say how we forgave

And how we told the story

And prayed for the dawning

Of thy chimes!

O light redeem thy secret vassals!

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