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