Deal not with me God as I have dealt with Man
In the prosperity which thou hast given me
Helpless in his need a careless course I ran
And now O Lord that thou hast driven me
To my last gasp, I pray for all I am not worth
Deal not with me as I have dealt on earth.
Stevie Smith (1902-71), Death-bed of a Financier.
'Selected Poems', Penguin Books, 1978, p. 149. Born in Hull, she had a life-long attachment to the Church of England although she was ambivalent about religion. James MacGibbon wrote: 'One could say that she did not like the God of Christian orthodoxy, but she could not disregard Him or ever quite bring herself to disbelieve in Him.' One of her best known poems is, 'Not Waving But Drowning' which can also be found in this anthology.