May I Not Be a Coward

“May I not ask for the grace to be protected from dangers,
but of being fearless in facing them.
May I not beg for my pain to calm down,
but for having the courage to master it.
May I not look for allies on the battlefield of life,
but trust in my own strength.
May I not aspire, filled with anxious fear, to be saved,
but hope in patience to obtain freedom.
Grant that I am not a coward, feeling your mercy only in my success,
but let me find the grip of your hand in my defeat.”
(Rabindranath Tagore. Collection of texts with the title “Rabindranath Tagore”, published by the brazilian Ministry of Education and Culture, MEC, 1962. 295 pp; emphasis added)