Memorial Day

 

Kilmer 1908 columbia yearbook picture.png

Joyce Kilmer, American poet, was killed by a sniper bullet July 30th, 1918 while serving his country in France.

To honor him, and all who have died to preserve freedom, I would like to share one of his poems, “Prayer of a Soldier in France”.

This beautiful poem always reminds me of what others have sacrificed, while also suggesting a way that I may seek, in some small manner, to imitate their courage, and perhaps in so doing, offer a better tribute to them than that of a simple thank you.

“Prayer of a Soldier in France”

Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)

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.
 —
(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.
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