Hymn to St George (Arm, arm, for the struggle approaches)

The author of this hymn about St George is unknown.  It is quoted as being sung at a service in 1885 (Ref: The Tablet archive), so is most likely in the public domain now.

It was published in the The Westminster Hymnal, 1912 (R&T Washborne Ltd, London).  This notes the author as unknown, and says that the tune is irregular, and sets it to a tune by "Laurence Ampleforth", who is identified here as Benedictine monk Anselm Burge (1846– 1929).   A scanned copy of this music is provided below - the original publication notes that separating the text from the score gives a certain flexibility / inaccuracy in matching the two.



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Arm! arm! for the struggle approaches,
Prepare for the combat of life:
Saint George! be our watchword in battle,
Saint George! be our strength in the strife.

Great saint, from the throne of thy splendour,
Look down on thy chosen isle,
Soon, soon may they share in thy glory,
Who faithfully strive her awhile.

The land of thy love is a desert,
It's temples and altars are bare,
The finger of death is upon it,
The footprints of Satan are there.

Arise in the might of they power,
And scatter the foes of the Lord;
As the idols of Rome in their temple
Were crushed at the sound of thy word.

Oh, bring back the faith that we cherish,
For which thou hast nobly withstood
The tortures and rack of the tyrant,
That faith which thou seal'dst with thy blood.

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  1. We sang it at school about 70 years ago.
    At Saint George's College,Santiago de Chile.

  2. I remember quite well, Mr Curtis was our theacher and we sang it with an organ that he played.

  3. It is hymn number 199 in the Westminster Hymnal of 1912. The complete hymnbook including words and tunes is available on line as an archive. Just google it.

    1. Thank you - I've now added the sheet score from this book above.