Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday's Poetry: "O Lord, Our Father"

by Pa Rock
Poetry Appreciator

Last week I dedicated this space to a poem by the very cynical Kurt Vonnegut that he wrote regarding the equally cynical Joseph Heller.  Today I serve up the same space to America's fiercest and most cynical writer, Mark Twain, as he pays homage to God for His unwavering support of war.  If only Twain was around to speak to us on the debt ceiling "crisis!"

O Lord, Our Father
by Mark Twain

O Lord, our father,
Our young patriots, idols of our hearts
Go forth to battle - be Thou near them!
With them, in spirit, we also go forth
From the sweet peace of our beloved firesides To smite the foe.

O Lord, our God,
Help us to tear their soldiers
To bloody shreds with our shells;
Help us to cover their smiling fields
With the pale forms of their patriot dead; Help us to drown the thunder of
the guns With the shrieks of their wounded,
Writhing in pain.

Help us to lay waste their humble homes
With a hurricane of fire;
Help us to wring the hearts of their
Unoffending widows with unavailing grief; Help us to turn them out roofless
With their little children to wander unfriended The wastes of their
desolated land
In rags and hunger and thirst,
Sports of the sun flames of summer
And the icy winds of winter,
Burdened in spirit, worn with travail,
Imploring Thee
 for the refuge of the grave and denied it - 

For our sakes who adore Thee, Lord,
Blast their hopes,
Blight their lives,
Protract their bitter pilgrimage,
Make heavy their steps,
Water their way with their tears,
Stain the white snow with the blood
Of their wounded feet! 

We ask it in the spirit of love -
Of Him who is the source of love,
And Who is the ever-faithful
Refuge and Friend of all that are sore beset And seek His aid with humble
and contrite hearts. 


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