John O'Donoghue

The Padre's Prayer
[after the Guardian headline 'The Bloodiest Day']

'In times of darkness, doubt, and death
  Your sacrifice will count.
While others dally, to your last breath
  Rise up, give good account.

The service that you now perform
  I bless and consecrate.
Be lightning in this desert storm -
  May all you do be great.

And should you fall think only this:
  Your comrades shall overcome
And you shall know eternal bliss
  Until His Kingdome come'.

The padre blessed the men at arms
  And sent them on their way
Far from lambent English farms
  Where the skylarks play.

And He looked down, who'd made them all
  And tears fell from His eyes.
'Why do they fail to hear My call,
  Why don't they realise

That they should be as We are, One:
  I made them to be friends.
For them I sent My only Son,
  My Peace that never ends.'

The padre blessed the men at arms
  And sent them on their way
Far from lambent English farms
  Where the skylarks play.

John O'Donoghue © 2009