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Longing Words of a POW

I saw this posted on FB today by a FB friend and thought I’d share it. At Christmas it’s easy to reminisce and wish for what used to be but may never be again. We are captives of our circumstances and time, but two great graces our Creator has commonly given are memory and imagination. When all seems lost, remember the past and dream of the future, especially regarding the promises of God. 

Robert Brank Vance is my 1st cousin 4 X removed. He wrote this poem as a POW in Ft. Delaware Prison. He was a great Christian man who loved the South. I believe he walked back to Ashville.  – Tom Pardue Sr. 

              THE SOUTH.

My Sunny South! my Sunny South!

   Thou land of joy to me;

The blissful clime where sinless youth

   Was spent in peaceful glee;

Tonight from bars and prison walls,

   On pinions light and free,

My spirit breaks its many thralls

   And wildly seeks for thee!

O’er hill and brake and rushing tide,

   And city’s lofty spire,

And silver stream and valley wide

   The home of son and sire

With tireless wing and swelling heart,

   Which nought around may stay,

I’ll burst these chords and chains apart

   And seek thee far away

The eye may droop, the form may bend,

   The hair be touched with gray;

Nor night nor morn bless’d peace may send

   To cheer the captive’s way;

But sentry’s tread, nor musket bright,

   Nor all the dread array

Which northmen use to show their might,

   Can cause the soul to stay!

I’ll seek thy fields and woodlands wild,

   Thy own savannahs fair,

And be again the happy child

   That liv’d and sported there;

And when in sleep I view thy streams,

   Which flow forever free,

My gladdest, brightest, sweetest dreams

   Shall be of home and thee!
Fort Delaware, 1864.

I was born in the mountains of Southwest Virginia, born again at a very young age, married a beautiful and likeminded woman, moved to Tennessee, and raised two children in the Southern traditions of loving God and neighbor, exercising manners, and being stewards of the land and its bounty. After becoming involved in youth ministry in our local church, the need of teaching people "what they believe and why they believe it" became painfully apparent, especially in my immediate context (rural Southern churches). We began an apologetics/theology ministry there but have since moved on. After serving in church leadership and being called to faithfulness and duty to protect our congregation from a rogue pastor under church discipline of his previous church, my experiences in this biblical process shape much of what I believe about how churches in the South have become weak and why nominal Christianity is prevalent. I love the Church and Southern culture so you can expect to read about apologetics and theology as well as church and culture here, written southern style, by the grace of God. Deo Vindice

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