An Exerpt from Mark Twain

from the book On the Human Race:

“O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle- be Thou near them! With them- in spirit- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O, Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writing in pain; help us to lay to waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him who is the Source of Love, and who is the ever-faithful refuge of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble hearts. Amen.”

(the unspoken part of the prayer “Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!”) Mark Twain, On the Damned Human Race. This prayer, called “The War Prayer”, was dictated in 1905, and was first published in 1916 by Harper’s Monthly.

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About Ravenmount

Independent music blogger/arts enthusiast/theorist currently working in Fort Collins, Colorado.
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