God of our fathers, art not Thou God in Heaven?@2 Chronicles 20:6

Rudyard Kipling, 1897. The words were originally written as the poem Recessional, and published in the London Times during Queen Victoria’s Jubilee celebration. They were also sung at Kipling’s funeral.

That poem gave me more trouble than anything I ever wrote. I had promised the Times a poem on the Jubilee, and when it became due I had written nothing that satisfied me. The Times began to want that poem badly, and sent letter after letter asking for it. I made more attempts, but no further progress. Finally the Times began sending telegrams. So I shut myself in a room with the determination to stay there until I had written a Jubilee poem. Sitting down with all my previous attempts before me, I searched through the dozens of sketches till at last I found just one line I liked. That was ‘Lest we forget.’ Round these words ‘The Recessional’ was written.

Price, p. 34

Folkingham from Supplement to the New Version, by Nahum Tate & Nicholas Brady, 1700 (🔊 pdf nwc).

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Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

God of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far flung battle line,
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies;
The captains and the kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

Far called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard,
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding, calls not Thee to guard,
For frantic boast and foolish word—
Thy mercy on Thy people, Lord!