Monday, August 26, 2013


A Prayer
(excerpt from It Can Be Done: Poems for Hardship, Sacrifice, and Dominion)

Girabaldi, the Italian patriot, said to his men: "I do not promise you ease; I do not promise you comfort.  I promise you hardship, weariness, suffering; but I promise you victory."

I do not pray for peace,
Nor ask that on my path
The sounds of war shall shrill no more,
The way be clear of wrath.
But this I beg Thee, Lord,
Steel Thou my heart with might,
And in the strife that men call life,
Grant me the strength to fight.
I do not pray for arms,
Nor shield to cover me.
What though I stand with empty hand,
So it be valiantly!
Spare me the coward's fear questioning 
    wrong or right:
Lord, among these mine enemies,
Grant me the strength to fight.

I do not pray that Thou
Keep me from any wound,
Though I fall low from thrust and blow,
Forced fighting to the ground;
But give me wit to hide
My hurt from all men's sight,
And for my need the while I bleed,
Lord, grant me strength to fight.
I do not pray that Thou 
Shouldst grant me victory;
Enough to know that from my foe
I have no will to flee,
Beaten and bruised and banned,
Flung like a broken sword,
Grant me this thing for conquering--
Let me die fighting, Lord!

Theodosia Garrison

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