Prayer of a Soldier in France


Prayer of a Soldier in France was published in the anthology, A Treasury of War Poetry (1917).
Memorial Day
George Matthews Harding, US Army artist, Village of Marne, 1918
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.

(When shall my fickle soul forget
The Agony of Bloody Sweat!)

My rifle hand is stiff and numb
(From Thy pierced palms 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.

Kilmer's poem is featured in our collection of World War I Literature.


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