a digital library of Unitarian Universalist biographies, history, books, and media
the digital library of Unitarian Universalism
Home » Poetry, Prayers & Visual Arts » Prayers for Today: May Sarton

Prayers for Today: May Sarton

May Sarton

May Sarton

MAY SARTON (1912-1995). A novelist, poet, and essayist whose work was influenced by the ministry of Samuel M. Crothers of the First Parish in Cambridge, she received many awards, among them an honorary doctorate from the Starr King School of the Ministry in Berkeley, California. Read More…


Help us to be the always hopeful
gardeners of the spirit
who know that without darkness
nothing comes to birth
as without light
nothing flowers.


Great one, austere,
By whose intent the distant star
Holds its course clear,
Now make this spirit soar—
Give it that ease.

Out of the absolute
Abstracted grief, comfortless, mute,
Sound the clear note,
Pure, piercing as the flute:
Give it precision.

Austere, great one,
By whose grace the unalterable song
May still be wrested from
The corrupt lung:
Give it strict form.


Vision is locked in stone,
The lion in the air is gone
With the great lion of the sun.
The sky is wild and cold.
The tawny fire is gone,
The hill where love did open like a rose
Is black. It snows….

God of the empty room,
Your will be done. Your will be done:
Now shines the inward sun,
The beating heart that glows
Within the skeleton,
The magic rose, the purer living gold,
Shine now, grown old.

All that is young and bold,
The lion’s roar, the flaming skin and wild,
Unearthly peace now cherish and enfold
And fresh sleep overcome,
That in this death-in-life, delicate, cold,
The spiritual rose
Flower among the snows—
The love surpassing love.


Come out of the dark earth
Here where the minerals
Glow in their stone cells
Deeper than seed or birth.

Come under the strong wave
Here where the tug goes
As the tide turns and flows
Below that architrave.

Come into the pure air
Above all heaviness
Of storm and cloud to this
Light-possessed atmosphere.

Come into, out of, under
The earth, the wave, the air,
Love, touch us everywhere
With primeval candor.

Series Navigation<< Prayers for Today: PsalmsPrayers for Today: Eliza Scudder >>
Categories: Poetry, Prayers & Visual Arts

Notable in UU History
Daniel Chester French

Notable American Unitarians: Arts — Daniel Chester French

Daniel Chester French, 1850-1931 Ralph Waldo Emerson helped Daniel Chester French, America’s best known sculptor, secure ... Read More
Caroline Wells Healey Dall

Caroline Wells Healey Dall (1822-1912)

Born the oldest child of a wealthy Boston merchant on June 22, 1822, Dall had full ... Read More
John Dewey Courtesy of Harvard University Archives

John Dewey: A Common Faith (Unitarian Friend), 1859-1952

A Celebration in Manhattan John Dewey was not a member but was a close friend of ... Read More
Robert Legvold

Robert Legvold

Robert Legvold is Marshall D. Shulman Professor in the Department of Political Science at Columbia University, ... Read More