Scripture Verse

They have blown the trumpet…but none goeth to the battle. Ezekiel 7:14


Horatius Bonar

Words: Ho­ra­ti­us Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope (Lon­don: James Nis­bet, 1857) pag­es 49–53.

Music: Sail­ing Phi­lip P. Bliss, 1871 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Philip P. Bliss


’Tis the summons to battle!
But the cry is unheard;
The trumpet has spoken,
Not a warrior has stirred.
Hark, the summons to battle!
It has sounded again;
Still louder and keener;
It has sounded in vain.

Yet a third time, and shriller,
That war-note has blown;
But the answer that cometh
Is the echo alone.
’Tis the silence of silence!
Tower, tent, and vale, and hill,
Field, forest, and highway—
All are soundless and still!

No challenge is lifted,
No signal unfurled;
’Tis man’s dark hour of terror,
The awe of the world.
For the arm of Jehovah
Has been bared in its might,
And the sword of His vengeance
Has been burnished to smite.

Through the ridges of battle
His ploughshare has sped;
And the tents of the living
Are the tombs of the dead.
The rude roar of millions
Is hushed in an hour;
The array of the mighty
Is crushed in its power.

’Twas man’s proudest muster
Of sinew and steel:
His army of armies,
Mail-clad to the heel.
No sun had e’er dawned on
So fearful a day,
No trumpet had marshaled
So dread an array.

As if earth in her frenzy,
From each region afar,
Had poured forth her nations
For the shock of that war.
In the flush of their manhood,
In the bud of their prime,
In veteran ripeness,
The men of each clime,

Came thronging and rushing,
Like rivers in flood,
Defying the terrors
And vengeance of God.
For the ruler of darkness,
The god of this world,
Had summoned his armies,
His banner unfurled.

As the storm-cloud it gathered,
As the lightning it sped;
As the mist it has vanished;
All is still as the dead.
Like the desert at midnight,
Not a breath nor a beam;
’Tis the silence of silence,
The dream of a dream;

Now, chains for the spoiler!
Dark and swift be his doom!
Thou hast trodden the nations—
Thy treading is come!
Earth, cease now thy wailing,
Thy wounds bleed no more;
Lo, the curse is departing,
Thy sorrows are o’er!

Thy long night is ending
Of sorrow and wrong;
For shame there is glory,
For weeping a song.
The new morning is dawning,
Bursts forth the new sun;
The new verdure is smiling,
The new age is begun.