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The War Prayer, by Mark Twain

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  • The War Prayer, by Mark Twain

    The War Prayer
    by Mark Twain

    It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and spluttering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory with stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener.
    Click the link for the whole thing. It's in the public domain but it would be nice for the site maintainer to get more confirmation that their work is serving a purpose.

    I stumbled on it by looking into White Man's Burden by Kipling. I saw mention that Twain's War Prayer was, in part, a response to that. And yeah, White Man's Burden relates to B5 as well, imo. Apologies if this has been talked to death recently.'s_Burden

    jms speaks

    Correct; the title of "The War Prayer" is a nod to Twain's piece of the same name, which should be read by *everyone*. Given the growing problems with illiteracy, I try to refer not to pop society so much, as to literature...Tennyson, Twain, even writers whose last names don't begin with T.

    Cool, read that prior to hitting "Submit New Thread".

  • #2
    I read it a while ago. Powerful stuff, and all too true.
    Jan from Denmark

    My blog :

    "Our thoughts form the Universe - they *always* matter"