Prayer of the Cows
by Sam Gold

O light deliver us
Thy lowly slaves,
You who feed us
The bread of sorrow.
May the sky weep over us
And wash our babes
Whom our master leads from us
Though not to borrow.
O light redeem thy secret vassals!

Weary with grief we shake off
The cold.
Though our ribs protrude
We shun the feed,
All magic fled from morning’s
New born gold.
O why does he ignore our pain,
Our need?
O light redeem thy secret vassals!

He hears our cries
As we hear theirs.
We bleed inside, enchained
Within the iron fold.
He sees their eyes,
Perceives our stares.
O send the love that foils
The Tempter bold!
O light redeem thy secret vassals!

No rolling pastures will he
Let us roam.
To shadows born,
To shadows we retire,
Our bodies racked,
Our souls ensnared,
By the tyranny
Of false desire.
O light redeem thy secret vassals!

He slays our past
Nor lets our future be.
Our present seems a
Flickering of night.
Though no Moses soon may
Set us free
From the charnel house
Of unrelieved sight,
O light redeem thy secret vassals!

Yet our master, too,
Is he not thy child?
O shine within
That we may understand
The false infinity
Of appetite,
The darkness of the sins
Of beast and man.
O light redeem thy secret vassals!

Our young who are
Allowed to grow,
Though exiled from
Thy sunbeams and clear air,
O may they find the choir
Our mothers knew,
And may they carry on
The prayer!
O light redeem thy secret vassals!

Mournful sisters,
Fare thee well!
You’ve known the fatal toil,
The patient trust.
O light how may we
Know thy will?
For soon the wagon
Calls for us.
O light redeem thy secret vassals!

And when the prison gates
Yawn wide,
Guide us to the courage
Angels show.
Then may we soon
In heaven’s arms reside,
At the streams and meadows
Where our babies go.
O light redeem thy secret vassals!

All the earth proclaims
Thy glory.
May the veil soon fall
From his daily crimes!
O say how we forgave
And how we told the story
And prayed for the dawning
Of thy chimes!
O light redeem thy secret vassals!