The Corner

Heaven and Hell

There are a lot of versions of this, but I think it’s by LCpl Jason Gerstner and I think this might be near to the original:


The Marine stood and faced his God, which will always come to pass.

He hoped his shoes were shining, just as brightly as his brass.

Step forward now you Marine, how shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek and to my church been true?

The marine squared his shoulders and said, “No, Lord, I guess I ain’t,

Cause those of us who carry guns can’t always be a saint.

I’ve had to work on Sundays and at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I’ve been violent cause the world is awfully rough.

But I never took a penny that wasn’t mine to keep,

Though I worked a lot of overtime when the bills just got too steep,

And I passed a cry for help though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God, forgive me, I wept unmanly tears.

I know I don’t deserve a place among the people here.

They never wanted me around except to calm their fears.

If you’ve a place for me here, Lord, it needn’t be so grand.

I never asked or had too much. If you don’t, I’ll understand.

There was silence all around the throne, where saints had often trod,

As the Marine waited quietly for the judgment of his God.

Step forward now, you Marine. You’ve borne your burdens well.

Walk peacefully on heaven’s streets. You’ve served your time in hell.


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