O God of Earth and Altar

This hymn was written by GK (Gilbert Keith) Chesterson (1874 – 1936), and first published in 1906.

With meter 7.6.7.6 D, tunes it is set to include:
  • KINGS LYNN by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 - 1958)
  • LLANGLOFFAN - a Welsh tune, composer unknown.

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On-line examples


Lyrics:

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,
For 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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