Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Poetry: A Hymn

GK Chesterton is a man I greatly admire without fully understanding.  Whenever I read anything he wrote I get the distinct feeling like I am missing something.  And yet what little I do glean from him is fully and truly profound.

He wrote many kinds of writings: essays, biographies, novels, editorials, and in this case, poems.

His "A Hymn" is a plea to the Lord to save us, not by delivering us from our trials, but by using those trials to forge us into a sword for His hand.

A Hymn

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 honour 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. 

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