Keep them, I pray Thee, dearest Lord

Keep them,  I pray Thee, dearest Lord, Keep them, for they are Thine– Thy priests whose lives burn out before They consecrated shrine. Keep them, for they are in the world, Though from the world apart; When earthly pleasures tempt, allure,– Shelter them in Thy heart. Keep them, and comfort them in hours Of loneliness and pain, When all their life of sacrifice For souls seems but in vain. Keep them, and O remember, Lord, They have no one but Thee, Yet they have only human hearts, With human frailty. Keep them as spotless as the Host, That daily they caress; Their every thought and word and deed, Deign, dearest Lord, to bless. (The Pieta Prayer Book)