O Captain of God’s host, whose dreadful might
Led forth to war the armèd seraphim,
And from the starry height,
Subdued in burning light,
Cast down that ancient dragon dark and grim;
Thine angels, Christ, we laud in solemn lays,
Our elder brethren of the crystal sky,
Who ’mid Thy glory’s blaze
The ceaseless anthem raise
And gird Thy throne in faithful ministry.
We celebrate their love, whose viewless wing
Hath left for us so oft their mansion high,
The mercies of their King
To mortal saints to bring,
Or guard the couch of slumbering infancy.
But Thee, the First and Last, we glorify,
Who, when Thy world was sunk in death and sin,
Not with Thine hierarchy,
The armies of the sky,
But didst with Thine own arm the battle win;
Alone didst pass the dark and dismal shore,
Alone didst tread the winepress, and alone,
All glorious in Thy gore,
Didst light and life restore
To us who lay in darkness and undone.
Therefore with angels and archangels we
To Thy dear love our thankful chorus raise,
And tune our songs to Thee
Who art, and art to be,
And, endless as Thy mercies, sound Thy praise.