The Stoic’s Prayer

“It matters not if dusty summer skies

Are cruel and white above my parched mouth;

Or verdant landscapes soothe my hungry eyes

Beneath the scent of rain-clouds from the south;


If armies proud oppose with sudden might

My single helpless self in desert lands,

Or gold-enthroned I sit and in my sight

A thousand men obey my least command –


My mind is still, perturbed by neither grief

Nor frenzied joy that worse destruction brings,-

Like a forest lake that mirrors every leaf

Above it, undisturbed by surface things.


A steadfast arm and clear untroubled thought-

Let these be mine, and all else be forgot.”


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