I was given a photocopy of a newspaper article when I was in New Zealand some years ago and I found it today – Anzac Day – so I thought I’d share it with you.
Its titled “Poem to God in the heat of battle”
A book restorer was moved to tears when he read this poem by a young soldier. The poem was found on the soldier’s body after he was killed in action during World War 1. He discovered it in an old army book he was restoring for a customer and made a copy of it. “I have copy of it on my wall and read it often. It still has the same impact each time.
A Soldier’s Prayer
Look, God, I have never spoken to you before,
But now I want to say: “How do you do.”
You see God, they told me you didn’t exist,
And like a fool, I believed all this.
Last night from a shell hole I saw your sky,
I figured right then they had told me a lie.
Had I taken the time to see things you made,
I’d have known they weren’t calling a spade a spade.
I wonder God if you’d shake my hand,
Somehow I feel that you will understand.
Funny I had to come to this hellish place,
Before I had time to see your face.
Well, I guess there isn’t much more to say,
But I am sure, God, I met you today.
I guess the zero hour will soon be here.
The signal! Well, God, I’ll have to go,
I like you lots, this I want you to know.
Look now, this will be a horrible fight,
Who knows, I may come to your house tonight.
Though I wasn’t friendly to you before,
I wonder, God, if you’d wait at your door.
Look, I’m crying! Me shedding tears!
I wish I had known you these many years.
Well! I have to go now, God, goodbye.
Since I met you, I’m not afraid to die.