Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hymn of the Day - Our earthly rulers falter

O God of Earth and Altar

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;
From sale and profanation of honor 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.

Words: Gil­bert K. Ches­ter­ton, in the Commonwealth, 1906.
King’s Lynn, tra­di­tion­al Eng­lish mel­o­dy, ar­ranged by Ralph Vaugh­an Will­iams in The Eng­lish Hymn­al (Lon­don: O­xford Un­i­ver­si­ty Press, 1906) from the Cyberhymnal

Chesterton, the "Prince of Paradox." Speaking of mundane matters, he said:
"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected."
Illustrated London News (1924-04-19), quoted in Wiki.

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