Stay with me God.
the night is dark, the night is cold,
my little spark of courage dies.
The night is long,
be with me God and make me strong.
I love a game, I love a fight.
I hate the dark, I love the light.
I love my child, I love my wife.
I am no coward, I love life.
Life, with its change of mood and shade,
I want to live, I’m not afraid,
but me and mine are hard to part,
Oh, unknown God, lift up my heart.
You stilled the waters at Dunkirk,
and saved your servants. All your work
is wonderful, dear God.
You strode before us down that dreadful road.
We were alone and hope had fled,
we love our country and our dead,
and could not shame them,
so we stayed the course and were not much afraid.
Dear God, that nightmare road!
and then that sea!
We got there – we were men.
My eyes were blind, my feet were torn,
my soul sang like a bird at dawn!
I knew that death is but a door.
I knew what I was fighting for.
Peace for the kids, our brothers freed,
a kinder world, a cleaner breed.
I’m but the son my mother bore,
a simple man and nothing more.
But God of strength and gentleness,
be pleased to make me nothing less.
Help me, oh God, when death is near,
to mock the haggard face of fear,
that when I fall – if fall I must,
my soul may triumph in the dust.
(Anon, unpublished Second World War soldier’s prayer. War Cries, complied by Mark Davidson, SPCK, 2015, p.64f.)