Scripture Verse

The King, the Lord of hosts. Isaiah 6:5

Introduction

Words: Ol­iv­er W. Holmes, Sr., 1861. It was dur­ing the Am­er­i­can ci­vil war that Holmes wrote these words, which echo a pa­tri­o­tic theme.

Music: Hes­per­us Hen­ry Bak­er, 1854 (🔊 pdf nwc). First pub­lished in A Hym­nal for Use in the Eng­lish Church, by John Grey, 1866.

Alternate Tune:

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Bak­er (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?

portrait
Oliver W. Holmes, Sr.
(1809–1894)

Lyrics

O Lord of hosts, almighty king,
Behold the sacrifice we bring:
To every arm Thy strength impart;
Thy Spirit shed through every heart.

Wake in our breasts the living fires,
The holy faith that warmed our sires;
Thy hand hath made our nation free;
To die for her is serving Thee.

Be Thou a pillared flame to show
The midnight snare, the silent foe;
And when the battle thunders loud,
Still guide us in its moving cloud.

God of all nations, sovereign Lord,
In Thy dread name we draw the sword,
We lift the starry flag on high
That fills with light our stormy sky.

From treason’s rent, from murder’s stain,
Guard Thou its folds till peace shall reign,
Till fort and field, till shore and sea,
Join our loud anthem, praise to Thee.