Mealtime Blessing

by John Oscarton, circa 1870
Ireland

For rest from illness and from grief,
for grain and flower, root and leaf,
for rest from famine and from sword,
for love and home, we thank thee, Lord.

For faces dear to us of old
and precious ones we now may hold,
we thank thee who thy Mother made
Queen of Heaven, with graces lade.

For life of plant and life of beast,
spent or slain to make our feast,
we thank thee and thy ministers
who rule with thee the twinkling spheres;
yet ask that quickly may we come
where sacrifices all are done.

Bless the giver and the gift;
let not foes our children sift.
Bless the maker and the made;
let us live as Jesus bade.

Bless our time, which let us use
Eternity may nothing lose.
Let us live, play, work and sing
subjects of our Heavenly King;
and give us beauty all our days
that beautifully we may thee praise.

Now let our drink and let our food
do us good, however rude.
Protect our animals and herbs;
no friend afar let ill disturb.
Protect our house, our windows, doors,
ceilings, tools, clothes, beds and floors;
books and music; tables, chairs;
our work, thanks, wholeness, love and prayers.

Protect thy Church, thy world and all;
for thou art good, far though we fall.
When we cry to Heaven, oh hear it,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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