Joyce Kilmer

(1886-1918 / New Jersey)

Prayer of a Soldier in France


1 My shoulders ache beneath my pack
2 (Lie easier, Cross, upon His back).

3 I march with feet that burn and smart
4 (Tread, Holy Feet, upon my heart).

5 Men shout at me who may not speak
6 (They scourged Thy back and smote Thy cheek).

7 I may not lift a hand to clear
8 My eyes of salty drops that sear.

9 (Then shall my fickle soul forget
10 Thy agony of Bloody Sweat?)

11 My rifle hand is stiff and numb
12 (From Thy pierced palm red rivers come).

13 Lord, Thou didst suffer more for me
14 Than all the hosts of land and sea.

15 So let me render back again
16 This millionth of Thy gift. Amen.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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