Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Peace Hymn Of The Republic

I'm fourth of Julying it early this year, and in the spirit of the day while everybody else is singing the first verse of our National anthem and neglecting any embarrassing reference to "In God is our trust" as might be found in the second verse, I would like to present a hymn which makes no bones about who is behind our freedom.

This hymn might have been a bit too avant-garde for its time with its "The virtues of her mingled blood
In one new people blend;" in verse two, but today that would be acceptable while the references to God would be considered by many to be unacceptable in a hymn for our Republic.

Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933)
O Lord, our God, Thy mighty hand
Hath made our country free;
From all her broad and happy land
May praise arise to Thee.
Fulfill the promise of her youth,
Her liberty defend;
By law and order, love and truth,
America befriend! 
The strength of every state increase
In Union’s golden chain;
Her thousand cities fill with peace,
Her million fields with grain.
The virtues of her mingled blood
In one new people blend;
By unity and brotherhood
America befriend! 
O suffer not her feet to stray;
But guide her untaught might,
That she may walk in peaceful day,
And lead the world in light.
Bring down the proud, lift up the poor,
Unequal ways amend;
By justice, nation-wide and sure,
America befriend! 
Through all the waiting land proclaim
Thy gospel of good-will;
And may the music of Thy name
In every bosom thrill.
O’er hill and vale, from sea to sea,
Thy holy reign extend;
By faith and hope and charity,
America befriend!

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