The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3
Words: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., Songs in Many Keys 1861. Holmes wrote these words during the American civil war, but the themes transcend time and place: Conflict, violent weather, plague, and prayers for loved ones and the nation.
Father of mercies, heavenly Friend,
We seek Thy gracious throne;
To Thee our faltering prayers ascend,
Our fainting hearts are known!
From blasts that chill, from suns that smite,
From every plague that harms;
In camp and march, in siege and fight,
Protect our men-at-arms!
Though from our darkened lives they take
What makes our life most dear,
We yield them for their country’s sake
With no relenting tear.
Our blood their flowing veins will shed,
Their wounds our breasts will share;
Oh, save us from the woes we dread,
Or grant us strength to bear!
Let each unhallowed cause that brings
The stern destroyer cease,
The flaming angel fold his wings,
And seraphs whisper,
Thine are the scepter and the sword,
Stretch forth Thy mighty hand—
Reign Thou our kingless nation’s Lord
Rule Thou our throneless land!