Scripture Verse

The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3


Words: Ol­iv­er Wen­dell Holmes, Sr., Songs in Ma­ny Keys 1861. Holmes wrote these words dur­ing the Am­eri­can ci­vil war, but the themes trans­cend time and place: Con­flict, vio­lent wea­ther, plague, and pray­ers for loved ones and the na­tion.

Music: Dun­dee Scot­tish Psal­ter, 1615 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Oliver W. Holmes, Sr. (1809–1894)


Father of mer­cies, hea­ven­ly Friend,
We seek Thy gra­cious throne;
To Thee our fal­ter­ing pray­ers as­cend,
Our faint­ing hearts are known!

From blasts that chill, from suns that smite,
From ev­ery plague that harms;
In camp and march, in siege and fight,
Protect our men-at-arms!

Though from our dark­ened lives they take
What makes our life most dear,
We yield them for their coun­try’s sake
With no re­lent­ing tear.

Our blood their flow­ing veins will shed,
Their wounds our breasts will share;
Oh, save us from the woes we dread,
Or grant us strength to bear!

Let each un­hal­lowed cause that brings
The stern de­stroy­er cease,
The flam­ing an­gel fold his wings,
And se­raphs whis­per, Peace!

Thine are the scep­ter and the sword,
Stretch forth Thy migh­ty hand—
Reign Thou our king­less nation’s Lord
Rule Thou our throne­less land!