Scripture Verse

God is the King of all the earth. Psalm 47:7


Words: Gil­bert K. Ches­ter­ton, in the Com­mon­wealth, 1906.

Music: Llang­lo­ffan, from Hym­nau a Tho­nau, by Da­ni­el S. Ev­ans (Lon­don: No­vel­lo, 1865) (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

  • King’s Lynn tra­di­tion­al Eng­lish tune, ar­ranged by Ralph Vaugh­an Will­iams in The Eng­lish Hym­nal (Lon­don: Ox­ford Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 1906) (🔊 pdf nwc)
Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874–1936)


O God of earth and al­tar, bow down and hear our cry,
Our earth­ly rul­ers fal­ter, our peo­ple drift and die;
The walls of gold en­tomb us, the swords of scorn di­vide;
Take not Thy thun­der from us, but take away our pride.

From all that ter­ror teach­es, from lies of tongue and pen,
From all the ea­sy speech­es that com­fort cru­el men;
From sale and pro­fa­na­tion of hon­or and the sword;
From sleep and from dam­na­tion, de­liv­er us, good Lord!

Tie in a liv­ing te­ther, the prince and priest and thrall;
Bind all our lives to­ge­ther, smite us and save us all;
In ire and ex­ul­ta­tion aflame with faith and free,
Lift up a liv­ing na­tion, a sin­gle sword to Thee.