Saturday 28 March 2020


THE STAR Johannesburg - 1918, January 6  
SYNED wrote this beautiful prayer during wartime in 1918 – just before the Spanish flu caused a global pandemic.

Lord! In the travail of this solemn hour
When war-wolves stand with dripping fangs and bare;
Faced with the utmost of the foeman’s power,
We kneel in prayer.

Our manhood’s chosen lie in noisome trenches,
Thine Image turned to writhing human mud;
A world laid waste, where at High Heaven blenches
And earth weeps blood.

A great cry fills the land, Our maids and mothers
In tearless sorrow keen their splendid dead;
Peasant and peer alike mourn sons and lovers –

And mourn the nerveless wrecks, the halt, the blinded –
Lives Thou hast spared we cannot now tell why.
Can we forget when day by day reminded
‘Tis good to die.

Dare we forgive the Hate that follows ever
Women and babes, from land and sky and sea;
Till it is crushed in one supreme endeavor –
And man is free.

Lord! We have paid the price of careless years,
Years that have sapped our strength and left us cold.
Now Death reaps on: while Youth, inured to tears,
Grows hard and old.

Yet greatly right, we do not fear the wrong.
In certain faith that wrong must yield to right.
For, though dark clouds hang overhead, ere long
Shall come a light.

Led by the Star that marks this fateful hour,
We stand before Thee with a naked sword
Uplifted. Trusting in Thy Name and Power –
Hear us, Oh, Lord!

Read more about the Spanish flu which caused a global pandemic, spreading rapidly and killing indiscriminately during the final months of World War I in 1918.

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