A Paratrooper's Prayer

man ready to jump from plane

When I'm flying at seven hundred
And the red light flickers on
I know I'll tremble and start to sweat
But, God, let me be strong.

When I look down through the hole, God
It's like I'm standing by a grave
And my knees go weak and I can't speak
Then, God, please make me brave.

And if it be Thy will, God
Part of Thine own Great Plan
That my life should stop, then on that last long drop
Oh God, let me die a man!

While I'm waiting to emplane, God
And checking my jumping kit
Though I laugh and jeer I'm full of fear
But, God, don't let me quit.

When the kite begins to move, God
And take off time is near
Then my heart grows cold - God, make me bold
And drive away my fear.

Photo and poem: Des Le Pard, 1945, provided by his son, Geoff.