Prayer For A Rebellious Daughter
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.”
Mother Daughter Prayer
Today we are thrilled to have Kari Kampakis, author of 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know, as a guest blogger! There’s a lot involved in raising a daughter. A lot of time. A lot of love. A lot of listening. A lot of learning. A lot of guidance. A lot of giving.
A lot of observing. And above all, a lot of praying. I often remind myself that as much as I love my four daughters, their Creator loves them more. He has plans for their lives that I’m supposed to enable, not interrupt.
Consciously or not, I also … Continue reading A Prayer for Our Daughters →
St Paul United Church of Christ, Taylor :: Prayers for Mothers and Daughters
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O Provident God, a parent to us all: As we gather for this time of meal and fellowship, we thank you for the love and graciousness which you have made known to us through mothers. We ask, O God, your blessing upon all moms that they may be reassured of your constant care for them as they devotedly care for their families and children.
In tough and tender times help them, uphold them, uplift them in all of their responsibilities. Grant to all mothers also the confidence to know that their work of selflessness and self-sacrifice in the face of adversity and challenge is not forgotten but remembered and cherished in your sight.
Now bless the bread and this entire meal of celebration in which we partake that it may nourish us in the continuing tasks of life. Amen.
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As days and months speeded by We longed so deep to have you home With starving eyes, we kept awake
And you came at last, to give us joy.
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Prayer For A Rebellious Daughter
Dear heavenly Father, it is with great sadness that I have witnessed the increasing rebelliousness of youth in my own precious daughter and the aching pain in my heart is so intense that at times I feel numb with helplessness and sadness.
Lord, You know only too well how easily and insidiously the world and the flesh influences young people and captures the heart and minds of today’s youth.. and my anguish is only surpassed my by inability to help the daughter that You gave us — whom I love so dearly.. but who has for too long been sliding into defiant disobedience.
Forgive me that I did not recognise and address this issue much sooner and forgive me Lord, that I did not train up my daughter in the best possible way, and I ask that even now… You would help her to develop a Biblical mind-set and a mature, godly character… nevertheless I know that You are a God who cares for each of Your children and I lay the life of my daughter before You now, and ask You to help me to correct my own lack in parenting and to help us mend our fractured relationship. Heal our hurting hearts I pray, and draw us together in the bond of peace and love.Father I pray that whatever it takes You would change me into the parent that You would want me to be so that in Your strength I may be enabled to restore our relationship.
And Lord I also pray that whatever it takes You would address my daughters rebellion against authority and her disinterest in spiritual matters.
Into Your hands I commit my own life and the future of my daughter – and trust You to do a good work in us both, to Your praise and glory – this I ask in Jesus name,
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