Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PRAYER IN THE TRENCHES, by BRENT DOW ALLINSON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

PRAYER IN THE TRENCHES, by                    
First Line: Lord god of hosts, be with us here!
Last Line: Cometh the dawn!
Subject(s): Prayer; World War I; First World War

What the Regimental Chaplain Prayed

Lord God of Hosts, be with us here!
Be with our troops that have no peer!
Sheathe them and shield them with Thy might,
Teach them to scorn comfort, delight,—
To die for Freedom we revere,
And homes inestimably dear!
Gird them with iron! ... Be ever near,
Through stern and soul-redeeming night,
Lord God of Hosts!

When Christ to mortals did appear
He brought nor meek compliance nor fear,
He brought a sword,—bade men to fight;
We fight beside Him now and here—
Our holy Captain—without fear
For Peace and Liberty and Right,—
Lord God of Hosts!


What the Regimental Chaplain Should Have Prayed

Cometh the dawn: ye men who know
Infinite anguish, infinite woe,—
Blinded and scourged in a ghastly doom,
Yearning and staggering through the gloom
Of filthy war,—O Youth laid low,
Dreaming of clean things long ago,
Of Christmas eves and drifted snow,
Cursing the savage cannon-boom,—
Cometh the dawn!

All things end sometime here below,
Even hate and war: it must be so. ...
The rotting flesh, the riven gloom,
Will vanish with the dreaded foe,
And peace will come and May winds blow,
And thrushes sing where lilacs bloom:
Cometh the dawn!

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