Kentucky Belle’s Lament or God Bless the Soldier, was written by, Minnie Myrtle, a beautiful, young Louisville, Kentucky woman, during the Civil War. It’s poignant message, is timeless and gives an insight into Myrtle’s personal knowledge of the Union boys and their innermost thoughts and fears as they marched through Kentucky, into the loneliness of war.
“God bless the soldier! O, could we but look into the almost bursting heart of the rough-clad, tired soldier, as he plods his way, weary and worn, casting a glance, at intervals, to see one kind smile, to hear one kind and gentle voice to remind him of home, and the “loved ones” left far behind to the mercies of a cold and heartless world—could we but look into that fond heart and see the aching void, we would clasp that hand tenderly, and draw him gently to our homes, a welcome guest. O, did you but think, for a moment, of the sacrifice made by the ones you term “striplings,” you would smother the thought before it rises to your pure lips, and your cheeks would burn with the sisterly blush, and your lips would breathe a prayer instead for the wanderer.
Come with me to yon snow-covered cabin. ‘Tis a rude hut; but pause ere you enter, and behold the scene: An aged mother, bowed in deep and earnest prayer; and, as she prays for her jewels, a smile, not of sadness, but a settled calmness, gives place to one of extreme agony; her boys—she has but two, the pride of her declining years—both she gave, as did “Abraham of old,” a living sacrifice upon the “altar of her country.” Come with me to yonder habitation, not of wealth, but comfort. Hark! What shriek was that which rent the air? A widowed mother kneels beside the fatherless babe, and asks God in mercy to let the bitter cup pass from her. Another sacrifice to the dark and bloody ground! Pause, then, sisters, and give that thought not utterance. Your lips should breathe a prayer for the friendless soldier. If you have a brother, then love the soldier for your brother’s sake; and if you have none, the honest-hearted soldier will be a brother and protector. But, O, for the love of God, speak kindly to the soldier.”
Kentucky Belle’s Lament or God Bless the Soldier, is a beautiful tribute to not only the boys of the Civil War, but to all troops that serve and sacrifice daily, in harm’s way, so that those at home, can enjoy the fruits and freedoms of this great country.