“hope to die”



When we were kids, if one told another kid something, they might insist that you swear it was true.

You would put your hands over your heart and say: “Cross my heart and hope to die.”

Meaning, if you were not telling the truth, may the Lord strike you dead.

Also, a common bedtime prayer went as follows:

Now I lay me down to sleep.

I pray the Lord my soul to keep.

If I die before I wake,

I pray the Lord my soul to take.



— Roger W. Smith

     January 2017

About Roger W. Smith

Roger W. Smith is a writer and independent scholar based in New York City. His experience includes freelance writing and editing, business writing, book reviewing, and the teaching of writing and literature as an adjunct professor. Mr. Smith's interests include personal essays and opinion pieces; American and world literature; culture, especially books and reading; classical music; current issues that involve social, moral, and philosophical views; and experiences of daily living from a ground level perspective. Besides (1) rogersgleanings.com, a personal site, he also hosts websites devoted to (2) the author Theodore Dreiser and (3) to the sociologist and social philosopher Pitirim A. Sorokin.
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One Response to “hope to die”

  1. James Dean says:

    Please send me your mailing address. I will send you my lineage from Benjamin Congdon and John Albro.

    I am interested in further information on early Congdons, and now have some letters written in the 1840’s from Cattaraugus County NY from a Lady to her brother in Rhode Island, have not yet deciphered who it was, but she had excellent grammar and handwriting, and seemed to own property and manage her own financial affairs, unlike Eliabeth Albro, whose inheritance from her Father John was signed for by her husband Benjamin Congdon.

    Thank you

    — James Dean, Sebring, Florida

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