The Prayer of Cyrus Brown
by Sam Walter Foss
“The proper way for a man to pray,”
Said Deacon Lemuel Keyes,
“And the only proper attitude
Is down upon his knees.”
“No, I should say the way to pray,”
Said Reverend Doctor Wise,
“Is standing straight with outstretched arms
And rapt and upturned eyes.”
“Oh, no, no, no,” said Elder Slow,
“Such posture is too proud.
A man should pray with eyes fast-closed
And head contritely bowed.”
“It seems to me his hand should be
Austerely clasped in front
With both thumbs pointing toward the ground,”
Said Reverend Doctor Blunt.
“Well, I pray while resting every day,”
Said Mr. Henry Pack.
“So I should think you say your prayers
While lying on your back.”
“Last year I fell in Murphy’s well—
Headfirst,” said Cyrus Brown.
“With both my knees a’stickin’ up
And my head a’pointin’ down.”
“And I made a prayer right then and there,
The best prayer I ever said,
The prayingest prayer I ever prayed,
A’standing on my head.”