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John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

8396 Misellaneous John Bartlett

QUOTATION:Now I lay me down to take my sleep, 1
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
Note 1.
It is said that in the earliest edition of the New England Primer this prayer is given as above, which is copied from the reprint of 1777. In the edition of 1784 it is altered to “Now I lay me down to sleep.” In the edition of 1814 the second line of the prayer reads, “I pray thee, Lord, my soul to keep.” [back]