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The War Prayer

April 20, 2014

P646MarkTwain

The War Prayer by Mark Twain

(Excerpt)

“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, writhing in pain; help us to lay 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 ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts.

Amen.”

*Just One of Many Sermons You Won’t Be Hearing on Easter Sunday

(excerpt)

To grasp how hard it is to express antiwar sentiment in mainstream America, consider this: Mark Twain couldn’t get “The War-Prayer” published while he was alive.

Even worse, it wasn’t just any Mark Twain who couldn’t get this crucial tract into print. It was 70-year-old Mark Twain. Legend emeritus Mark Twain. The Mark Twain who had done world concert tours performing symphonic oratory to rapt overflow audiences. It was steamboat captain, journalist, essayist, minter of maxims, travel-writer beyond compare and author of novels who will live until the damned human race inevitably eliminates itself, Mark Twain who could not get “The War-Prayer” published.

By Barry Crimmins

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One comment

  1. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IYH75mTrQDA&list=UUBw57UIatFoishbWSeejGaw&index=6



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