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.

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