Scripture Verse

Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. Genesis 11:9

Introduction

portrait
Laurence Housman
(1865–1959)

Words: Laur­ence Hous­man, 1919.

Music: Old 124th (2) Ge­ne­van Psal­ter, 1551 (🔊 pdf nwc).

illustration
Building the Tower of Babel
James J. Tissot, circa 1900

Lyrics

Father eternal, ruler of creation,
Spirit of life, which moved ere form was made;
Through the thick darkness covering every nation,
Light to man’s blindness, O be Thou our aid:
Thy kingdom come, O Lord, Thy will be done.

Races and peoples, lo! we stand divided,
And sharing not our griefs, no joy can share;
By wars and tumults love is mocked, derided,
His conquering cross no kingdom wills to bear:
Thy kingdom come, O Lord, Thy will be done.

Envious of heart, blind eyed,
With tongues confounded,
Nation by nation still goes unforgiven;
In wrath and fear, by jealousies surrounded,
Building proud towers
Which shall not reach to heaven:
Thy kingdom come, O Lord, Thy will be done.

Lust of possession worketh desolations;
There is no meekness in the sons of earth;
Led by no star, the rulers of the nations
Still fail to bring us to the blissful birth.
Thy kingdom come, O Lord, Thy will be done.

How shall we love Thee, holy, hidden Being,
If we love not the world which Thou hast made?
O give us brother love for better seeing
Thy world made flesh, and in a manger laid:
Thy kingdom come, O Lord, Thy will be done.