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Hymn Before Action

From The Birmingham Age Herald, August 6, 1914. By Rudyard Kipling.

The earth is full of anger,
    The seas are dark with wrath,
The Nations in their harness
    Go up against our path;
Ere yet we loose the legions—
    Ere yet we draw the blade,
Jehovah of the Thunders,
    Lord God of Battles, aid!

High lust and forward bearing,
    Proud heart, rebellious brow—
Deaf ear and soul uncaring,
    We seek Thy mercy now!
The sinner that forswore Thee,
    The fool that passed Thee by,
Our times are known before Thee—
    Lord, grant us strength to die!

From panic, pride and terror
    Revenge that knows no reign,
Light haste and lawless error,
    Protect us yet again.
Cloak Thou, our underserving,
    Make firm the shuddering breath;
In silence and unswerving
    To taste Thy lesser death!

E’en now the vanguard gathers,
    E’en now we face the fray—
As Thou didst help our fathers,
    Help Thou our host today!
Fulfilled of signs and wonders,
    In life, in death made clear—
Jehovah of the Thunders,
    Lord God of Battles, hear!

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