Sunday, 31 August 2014

The bureaucrat's prayer

There, with its great red hands on the knees parted beneath a white and flowing robe, sat Power — his deity; and a silent prayer, far too instinctive and inevitable to be expressed in words, rose through the stagnant, dusty atmosphere:

“O great image that put me here, knowing as thou must the failings of my fellow-beings, give me power to see that they do right; let me provide for them the moral and the social diet they require. 

For, since I have been here, I have daily, hourly, humbly felt more certain of what it is they really want; more assured that, through thy help, I am the person who can give it them. 

O great image, before thou didst put me here I was not quite certain about anything, but now, thanks be to thee, everything is daily clearer and more definite; and I am less and less harassed by my spirit. Let this go on, great image, till my spirit is utterly at rest, and I am cold and still and changeless as this marble corridor.”

John Galsworthy - Power (1908)

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