A Soldier’s Prayer
“Taps” have sounded and all is still,
Deep silence reigns, no light no sound
Disturbs the stillness of the camp;
The watchful sentries make their round.
Though night moves on, no sleep for me,
My thoughts are winged, they fly they roam,
Far, far away to those I love,
My wife, my children, and my home.
And here beneath my soldier’s tent,
Though midnight’s solemn hour it be,
There is an eye that sees us all—
My prayer ascends, O God, to Thee;
God of the faithful, of the strong,
God of the weak, God of the brave,
My native land, O God protect
My home, my wife, my children save.
At Thy behest do nations rise;
Let Thy right arm our cause defend,
The right secure, our country bless,
For this, O God, our prayers ascend;
Extend the shadow of thy wing,
Thou who seeist the sparrow’s fall,
And those for whom I live,
My wife, my children, country—all.
And where the din of battle comes,
Be thou, O God, a shield and friend,
Oh, nerve my arm; be Thou our strength
Our homes, our altars to defend,
And swiftly speed the day, O Lord,
When war shall cease and peace shall reign,
When with our loved ones far away,
We’ll all unite at home again.
Joseph Warren Speight (1825-1888)
This poem appeared in the Waco Morning News on 31 Oct 1911. The article said that the poem was written on the back of a piece of discarded wallpaper and had been recently picked up in a Confederate camp.
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