Lest by diminished vitality and abated 
   vigilance, I become food for crocodiles—for that quicksand 
   of gluttony which is legion. It is there close at hand—
      on either side 
      of me. You remember the Israelites who said in pride 

and stoutness of heart: "The bricks are fallen down, we will 
   build with hewn stone, the sycamores are cut down, we will 
   change to cedars"? I am not ambitious to dress stones, to 
      renew forts, nor to match 
      my value in action, against their ability to catch 

up with arrested prosperity. I am not like 
   them, indefatigable, but if you are a god, you will 
   not discriminate against me. Yet—if you may fulfill 
      none but prayers dressed 
      as gifts in return for your gifts—disregard the request.

This poem is in the public domain.