Scripture Verse

The King, the Lord of hosts. Isaiah 6:5


Words: Ol­iv­er W. Holmes, Sr., 1861. It was dur­ing the Am­eri­can ci­vil war that Holmes wrote these words, which ec­ho a pa­tri­ot­ic theme.

Music: Hes­per­us Hen­ry Bak­er, 1854 (🔊 pdf nwc). First pub­lished in A Hym­nal for Use in the Eng­lish Church, by John Grey, 1866.

Alternate Tune:

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Bak­er (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),

Oliver W. Holmes, Sr. (1809–1894)


O Lord of hosts, al­migh­ty king,
Behold the sac­ri­fice we bring:
To ev­ery arm Thy strength im­part;
Thy Spir­it shed through ev­ery heart.

Wake in our breasts the liv­ing fires,
The ho­ly faith that warmed our sires;
Thy hand hath made our na­tion free;
To die for her is serv­ing Thee.

Be Thou a pil­lared flame to show
The mid­night snare, the si­lent foe;
And when the bat­tle thun­ders loud,
Still guide us in its mov­ing cloud.

God of all na­tions, so­ve­reign Lord,
In Thy dread name we draw the sword,
We lift the star­ry flag on high
That fills with light our stor­my sky.

From trea­son’s rent, from mur­der’s stain,
Guard Thou its folds till peace shall reign,
Till fort and field, till shore and sea,
Join our loud an­them, praise to Thee.