Before birthBMJ 2000; 320 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.320.7233.489/a (Published 19 February 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:489
I am not yet born; rehearse me
In the parts I must play and the cues I must take when
old men lecture me, bureaucrats hector me, mountains
frown at me, lovers laugh at me, the white
waves call me to folly and the desert calls
me to doom and the beggar refuses
my gift and my children curse me.
From “Prayer before birth” in Selected Poems by Louis MacNiece. London: Faber and Faber Limited,1988.