“Ein’ feste burg ist unser Gott”
Of old our City hath renown.
Of God are her foundations,
Wherein this day a King we crown
Elate among the nations.
Acknowledge, then, thou King—
And you, ye people, sing—
What deeds His arm hath wrought:
Yea, let their tale be taught
To endless generations.
So long, so far, Jehovah guides
His people’s path attending,
By pastures green and water-sides
Toward His hill ascending;
Whence they beneath the stars
Shall view their ancient wars,
Their perils, far removed.
O might of mercy proved!
O love past comprehending!
He was that God, for man which spake
From Sinai forth in thunder;
He was that Love, for man which brake
The dreadful grave asunder.
Lord over every lord,
His consecrating word
An earthly prince awaits;
Lift then your heads, ye gates!
Your King comes riding under.
Be ye lift up, ye deathless doors;
Let wave your banners o’er Him!
Exult, ye streets; be strewn, ye floors,
With palm, with bay, before Him!
With transport fetch Him in,
Ye ransom’d folk from sin—
Your Lord, return’d to bless!
O kneeling king, confess—
O subject men, adore Him!
E. W. B.
Archbishop of Canterbury: sometime the First Bishop of Truro. October 1896
The Church’s outpost
on a neck of land—
By ebb of faith the foremost left the last—
Dull, starved of hope, we watched the driven sand
Blown through the hour-glass, covering our past,
Counting no hours to our relief—no hail
Across the hills, and on the sea no sail!
Sick of monotonous days
we lost account,
In fitful dreams remembering days of old
And nights—th’ erect Archangel on the Mount
With sword that drank the dawn; the Vase of Gold
The moving Grail athwart the starry fields
Where all the heavenly spearmen clashed their
In dereliction by the deafening
We sought no more aloft, but sunk our eyes,
Probing the sea for food, the earth for ore.
Ah, yet had one good soldier of the skies
Burst through the wrack reporting news of them,
How had we run and kissed his garment’s hem!
Nay, but he came! Nay,
but he stood and cried,
Panting with joy and the fierce fervent race,
“Arm, arm! for Christ returns!”—and all our pride,
Our ancient pride, answered that eager face:
“Repair His battlements!—Your Christ is near!”
And, half in dream, we raised the soldiers’ cheer.