Prayer of a Soldier in France
Joyce Kilmer (1886–1918)
Written while in France working in Intelligence, and although NOT assigned to active duty on the front line, he stood with the First Battalion at the Battle of Ourcq and gave the greatest sacrifice... himself to save others.
He was awarded the Croix de Guerre for his bravery.
This poem makes me think not only of what THAT must have been like, but Jesus' walk, carrying the Cross to his final destination, and the Sacrifice he was willing to make.
MY shoulders ache beneath my pack
(Lie easier, Cross, upon His back).
I march with feet that burn and smart
(Tread, Holy Feet, upon my heart).
Men shout at me who may not speak
(They scourged Thy back and smote Thy cheek).
I may not lift a hand to clear
My eyes of salty drops that sear.
(Then shall my fickle soul forget
Thy Agony of Bloody Sweat?)
My rifle hand is stiff and numb
(From Thy pierced palm red rivers come).
Lord, Thou didst suffer more for me
Than all the hosts of land and sea.
So let me render back again
This millionth of Thy gift. Amen.