A Soldier Remembers - Poem by Divina Boulangé
That bitter night in Valley Forge stands above my other memories.
‘Twas winter, and the snowy winds whistled through the trees.
Gathered ‘round a dying fire, soldiers shivered from the night chill.
Few were sleeping; others keeping solemn vigil stood still.
At the edge of the encampment, a movement caught my eye.
A dark form disappeared behind a bush; could it be a spy?
Quietly I rose and, following the footprints, slipped into the night.
A trail of bloody snow was all that I could discern in the moonlight.
As I reached the clearing, I saw a crumpled figure bent low.
George Washington, my general, was kneeling in the snow.
Thinking he was injured, I began to run to his side,
But a whispered prayer from the general stopped me in my stride.
Did the mighty general pray for relief from his own pain?
Was the prayer to God one for a military gain?
No, this prayer warrior was more concerned about his men.
He asked for their comfort and for help from heaven.
Selflessly, quietly, he prayed for their strength to grow.
His tears, shed in love for his comrades, fell to the snow.
General Washington prayed for each soldier by name.
As I listened, a sweet sense of God’s protection came.
I felt washed in peace and rejuvenated in might
To know that God’s man wouldn’t give up the fight.
I slowly returned and by the fire solemnly sat
Glancing around, I saw each man asleep on his mat.
The prayer of God’s saint was again of much avail.
Rest was given; peace bestowed; God’s love did not fail.
And amidst wars and fightings and a wintry hell,
With sweet reassurance, I knew deep inside – all is well.
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