Richard was the son of Jonathan and Elizabeth Byrd Burleson and was the younger brother of Rufus C. Burleson. He was born in Decatur, Alabama and died in McLennan County, Texas on December, 1879.
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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