Home  »  A Treasury of War Poetry  »  A Prayer in Time of War

George Herbert Clarke, ed. (1873–1953). A Treasury of War Poetry. 1917.

Alfred Noyes

A Prayer in Time of War

THOU, whose deep ways are in the sea,

Whose footsteps are not known,

To-night a world that turned from Thee

Is waiting—at Thy Throne.

The towering Babels that we raised

Where scoffing sophists brawl,

The little Antichrists we praised—

The night is on them all.

The fool hath said … The fool hath said …

And we, who deemed him wise,

We who believed that Thou wast dead,

How should we seek Thine eyes?

How should we seek to Thee for power

Who scorned Thee yesterday?

How should we kneel, in this dread hour?

Lord, teach us how to pray!

Grant us the single heart, once more,

That mocks no sacred thing,

The Sword of Truth our fathers wore

When Thou wast Lord and King.

Let darkness unto darkness tell

Our deep unspoken prayer,

For, while our souls in darkness dwell,

We know that Thou art there.