House-Wife’s Prayer For The Coming Day
A Prayer for My Daughter
by William Butler Yeats
Once more the storm is howling, and half hidUnder this cradle-hood and coverlidMy child sleeps on. There is no obstacleBut Gregory’s wood and one bare hillWhereby the haystack- and roof-leveling wind.Bred on the Atlantic, can be stayed;And for an hour I have walked and prayed
Because of the great gloom that is in my mind.
I have walked and prayed for this young child an hourAnd heard the sea-wind scream upon the tower,And under the arches of the bridge, and screamIn the elms above the flooded stream;Imagining in excited reverieThat the future years had come,Dancing to a frenzied drum,
the murderous innocence of the sea.
May she be granted beauty and yet notBeauty to make a stranger’s eye distraught,Or hers before a looking-glass, for such,Being made beautiful overmuch,Consider beauty a sufficient end,Lose natural kindness and maybeThe heart-revealing intimacy
That chooses right, and never find a friend.
Helen being chosen found life flat and dullAnd later had much trouble from a fool,While that great Queen, that rose the spray,Being fatherless could have her wayYet chose a bandy-legged smith for man.It’s certain that fine women eatA crazy salad with their meat
Whereby the Horn of Plenty is undone.
In courtesy I’d have her chiefly learned;Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earnedBy those that are not entirely beautiful;Yet many, that have played the foolFor beauty’s very self, has charm made wise,And many a poor man that has roved,Loved and thought himself beloved,
From a glad kindness cannot take his eyes.
May she become a flourishing hidden treeThat all her thoughts may the linnet be,And have no business but dispensing roundTheir magnanimities of sound,Nor but in merriment begin a chase,Nor but in merriment a quarrel.O may she live some green laurel
Rooted in one dear perpetual place.My mind, because the minds that I have loved,The sort of beauty that I have approved,Prosper but little, has dried up of late,Yet knows that to be choked with hateMay well be of all evil chances chief.If there’s no hatred in a mindAssault and battery of the wind
Can never tear the linnet from the leaf.
An intellectual hatred is the worst,So let her think opinions are accursed.Have I not seen the loveliest woman born the mouth of Plenty’s horn,Because of her opinionated mindBarter that horn and every goodBy quiet natures understood
For an old bellows full of angry wind?
Considering that, all hatred driven hence,The soul recovers radical innocenceAnd learns at last that it is self-delighting,Self-appeasing, self-affrighting,And that its own sweet will is Heaven’s will;She can, though every face should scowlAnd every windy quarter howl
Or every bellows burst, be happy still.
And may her bridegroom bring her to a houseWhere all’s accustomed, ceremonious;For arrogance and hatred are the waresPeddled in the thoroughfares.How but in custom and in ceremonyAre innocence and beauty born?Ceremony’s a name for the rich horn,
And custom for the spreading laurel tree.
“A Prayer for My Daughter” is a reflection of the poet’s love for his daughter. It is also about surviving the turmoil of the contemporary world, where passions have been separated from reason. The setting of the poem is unspecified. The speaker is the poet himself talking to his daughter. The tone is gloomy, precarious, and frightening, as well as didactic.
The poem opens with a description of the speaker praying for his innocent infant daughter, Anne, lying in the middle of a storm “howling, and half hid.” The poet demonstrates his feelings through the use of symbols of weather.
The newborn baby girl is sleeping “Under this cradle-hood and coverlid,” implying the innocence and vulnerability of Anne. Though the external world is violent, she is protected from it.
The storm is a metaphor for the Irish people’s struggle for their independence, which was an uncertain political situation in Yeats’s day. He further presents the situation of the storm with “roof-leveling wind”, representing turbulence, in the midst of which the poet has “walked and prayed for this young child an hour.
” Intense and threatening forces surround her a “flooded stream.” The poet symbolizes the sea thus: “ the murderous innocence of the sea.” Despite his apprehensions for his child in this turbulent world, he is hopeful for her.
The poet continues on to comment on his hopes for her beauty:“May she be granted beauty and yet not.” His vacillation is that beauty in women sometimes brings disasters. For example, some such people have a difficult time choosing the right person as a life partner, and neither they can “find a friend.
” The speaker lays emphasis on the need for feminine innocence. The poet advances his argument in the next stanzas by citing examples of beautiful women such as Helen of Troy, whose beauty was said to be the cause of the Trojan War.
By the end, the poet wants his daughter to be courteous, as love cannot come unconditionally and freely. She must earn love with good efforts and kind-heartedness, and she cannot win it by merely physical beauty because “Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned.
” Summing up his theme, the poet wishes his daughter to possess such qualities that could help her face the future years confidently and independently.
The poem is written in a lyric form containing ten stanzas with eight lines in each stanza. The poem follows a regular rhyme scheme, which is AABBCDDC as shown below:
I have walked and prayed for this young child an hour A
And heard the sea-wind scream upon the tower, A
And-under the arches of the bridge, and scream B
In the elms above the flooded stream; B
Imagining in excited reverie C
That the future years had come, D
Dancing to a frenzied drum, D
the murderous innocence of the sea. C
The meter of this poem alternates between iambic pentameter and trochaic pentameter, as in “I have walked and prayed for this young child an hour / And heard the sea-wind scream upon the tower.” The poem is rich in literary devices such as symbolism, personification, paradox, sibilance, assonance, alliteration, and onomatopoeia. The line “murderous innocence of the sea” is an example of paradox. Sibilance is found in the words “sea-wind scream,” while “scream” is also an example of an onomatopoeia. The use of personification can be noted in the lines “future years … dancing”, which implies the transience of life. The poet uses symbols such as “sea wind” and “flooded stream” which denote turbulent forces at work. Alliteration is present in the phrase “be granted beauty.”
Guidance for Usage of Quotes
The poem is concerned with the chaotic modern world. It shows a father consumed with apprehension for his daughter’s future in an uncertain political situation.
The father is tense about how he can possibly protect his daughter from the raging storm outside, because she is very beautiful. Therefore, he prays for her as well as gives advice about how to live successfully on earth.
Similarly, modern-day fathers can send quotes from this poem to their daughters as a piece of advice for special occasions:
“In courtesy I’d have her chiefly learned;Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earnedBy those that are not entirely beautiful;Yet many, that have played the foolFor beauty’s very self, has charm made wise,And many a poor man that has roved,Loved and thought himself beloved,
From a glad kindness cannot take his eyes.”
9 Good Night Prayers for the Evening — Sleep Peacefully at Bedtime!
Ending your day with prayer is a wonderful way to let go of stress and find peace before falling asleep. No matter what you faced today, talking to God through goodnight prayers will renew your faith. Evening prayer also helps you reflect on all the throughout your day and the ways that God has been present with you.
Share these nine bedtime and evening prayers with your children, spouse and friends so they too can fall asleep feeling blessed and thankful!
Goodnight Prayer for Blessings
Bless us with rest tonight, Jesus, and a good night’s sleep. Forgive us for the things we did today that did not honor you. Thank you for loving us so much and that you know us through and through.
We need your help every day, and we thank you for the strength you give and for helping us know that with you, even hard things are possible. Bless our family and our home, and keep us safe through the night.
May your angels guard us and watch over us, just you promised.
You've told us we are just sheep. And that you lead us and guard us a shepherd. You know our names, and you make us feel special and loved. When we hurt, you help us feel better.Thank you, Jesus, for your good care and for giving us [mom/dad/parents/foster parents/pastors] to help. Thank you for the Bible, and for teaching us stuff in life that helps us grow. Bless the people in our world, and help them to know you love them, too.
Thank you for all the people who help us so much: teachers, doctors, policeman, and fireman—and so many more.
Thank you for your good plan for our lives. Help us to obey you and love you more and more. When we awake in the morning, put a smile on our face and your purpose in our hearts, ready to start a new day. We love you, Jesus. Good night. In Jesus's precious name, Amen. ~ ~ Rebecca Barlow Jordan
A Bedtime Prayer to Stop an Anxious Heart
Dear Lord, please help me trust You and empower me through Your Spirit to stop my emotions from bossing me around. I want to quit worrying about what might happen and focus on what has already happened by remembering and praising You for Your faithfulness in my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen. ~ Renee Swoop
Giving Thanks Evening Prayer
Dear God, we thank you tonight for the good day and for the special way you take care of us all the time. Thank you for the fun times outside and the quiet times inside, and for helping us learn new things every day.
Thank you for creating us special, exactly the way you wanted. Thank you for protecting us throughout the day. Forgive us for the wrong things we do.
Thank you for loving us even when we disobey or try to do things our way. Help us to always choose your way, God, because it’s always best.
We pray for all the people who don’t know you, and that they will come to understand your love for them, too.
Bless our family and thank you for good times together and apart. Bless our friends and those we love, including our grandparents, our aunts and uncles and cousins. Thank you for our home and a place to sleep and good food to eat.
Help us rest well, give us peaceful dreams, and send your angels around our home to protect us throughout the night. Teach us to trust you and to love you more and more. You are good; you are great; and you are faithful, God. And we love you. Good night.
In Jesus’s precious name, Amen. ~ Rebecca Barlow Jordan
A Short Night-time Prayer (2 Timothy 1:7)
For God’s not given me a spirit of fear, But a spirit of love, and of power, and a sound mind,
To live each day and glorify his name.
Popular Child’s Bedtime Prayer, 18th Century
Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
Alternative Version for Children: Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, Watch and guard me through the night, and wake me with the morning light.
A Beautiful Prayer to End the Day
Heavenly Father, my day is drawing to an end, and I'm ready to turn in. But before I do, I have to thank you for your faithfulness today. It's always a good day, even when things may not go the way I plan, or when the world seems in chaos, because you are in control.
For all the times when I was aware of your help today, all the times when your unseen presence seemed so near, thank you, God. But for all the ways you worked behind the scenes, unknown to me, moments when heaven-sent angels moved on my behalf in ways I'll never know, thank you for those also, Lord.
Forgive me for any foolish actions on my part today or things I did without first asking your blessing or wisdom. Those are moments I'd rather forget, but I'm so grateful for your forgiveness when I ask.I never want to go to bed without clearing the air between us, Lord. Our friendship means too much, and your holiness deserves that. Thank you for loving me just as I am.
Your love compels me to give you my all and fills my heart with praise for the relationship we share because of Jesus.
As I close my eyes tonight, I'm praying for loved ones around me, for friends and those who need to know you, Lord. I'm praying that your love, the billions of stars in the night sky outside, will touch them and help them see who you really are. I pray for our world and those in it. I pray for their needs as well as my own.
Grant me a good night's sleep tonight, God, so that I can awake refreshed and ready to begin another day loving you. Thank you again for blessings so undeserved and too numerous to count.
I love being your child, and I long for the word «faithful» to describe my service to you, each day of every year. When I awake in the morning, may it be with a joyful smile, not a grumpy spirit.
May your protection and your presence bathe this place with peace and safety against the enemy. Good night, Lord. In Jesus's name, Amen. ~ Rebecca Barlow Jordan
Father, We Thank Thee
Father, we thank thee for the night, And for the pleasant morning light; For rest and food and loving care, And all that makes the day so fair. Help us to do the things we should, To be to others kind and good; In all we do, in work or play, To grow more loving every day.
— Rebecca Weston — 1890
Bedtime Prayer (song by Twila Paris)
Now I lay me down to sleep I pray dear Lord that you will keep Your eyes upon this sleeping world
Every little boy and girl
Bless the children far away The ones who don't know how to pray Those who are not feeling well
The little one the slipped and fell
Bless the puppy down the street The neighbors I have yet to meet
Bless my mom and dad especially
Just one more thing I'd to say Before I close another day I'd to thank you Lord for all the ways
That You bless meBless the child whose home is torn The babies who are not yet born Bless the ones who take your word
To all the hearts that have not heard
Bless all your children everywhere I hope they know how much you care Maybe someday I can go
And tell them that You love them so
Bless Grandma and my Grandpa too And all my friend and all they do
Bless every twig upon my family tree
Just one more thing I'll say to you I'm so amazed by all you do I'll thank you once again because it's true
That you bless me
The Examen (Evening Reflection)
Written by St. Ignatius Loyola, the Examen is a daily process for prayerfully reflecting on your day.
1. Remember God’s presence.
Even after a trying day, God will quiet your soul as you remember His presence and intentionally seek to enter into it. Remember He’s with you. Invite Him to make Himself present to you.
2. Respond to Him with thanks.
Giving thanks gives God glory and helps us look on the bright side of a bad day. What small blessings can you thank God for?
3. Reflect on how God showed Himself to you.
God reveals himself through scripture, but we also see glimpses of him in nature, events, and people.
Sometimes He shows up loudly through miraculous, divine intervention. Other times He shows Himself quietly through the beauty of a flower or an earnest conversation.
As you look back over your day, can you identify moments where you sensed God’s revelation or intervention?
4. Repent of your failings.
I don’t recognizing my own sin, but repentance is key to continual renewal in our relationship with God.As you reflect on your day, remember specific points where you failed. Bring your shortcomings before God and ask Him to forgive you.
5. Resolve to grow.
God is in the business of changing us, so don’t let your failings discourage or define you. His mercies are always new. Accept His forgiveness. Ask Him for grace to change. Is there anything you need to make right or anyone you need to apologize to? What can you do differently tomorrow?
Do you have a favorite goodnight prayer you use at bedtime? One that your parents taught you or that you are teaching your children? Share it with our community in the comments below!
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.
Prayer for Healing
Prayer for Strength
Prayer for Protection
Good Night Prayers
The Prayer of Jabez
The Lord's Prayer
The Prayer of St Francis
A Birthday Prayer
Prayer for Forgiveness
Prayer for Guidance
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