The Great War

from Lest We Forget, an electronic edition

Litany in War-Time.

Now that the heavens are opened,

Now that the call has come,

Now that Hell's driven legions

Strike the old voices dumb;

Now that Thy hand is upon us,

Now that our trial begins,

Lord God of love as of battles --

Lord, forgive us our sins!

The naked we have not cloth├Ęd,

The hungry we have not fed,

The women degraded and outcast,

The children crying for bread!

Vanity, sloth and falsehood,

Luxury, greed and fear,

Help, Lord, to cast them behind us,

Now that Thy Word is clear.

Set not our blindness before Thee!

Open our eyes to see --

To see in this darkness the glory

Of Thy great peace to be!

If for our sins we must perish,

Grant us the grace, Most High --

If for our sins we must perish, --

Yet for this cause to die!

High above fears and chances

Our England that is to be!

Peace upon earth, goodwill among men,

Justice and Liberty.

High in the raging storm-wind

The banner of England streams:

England! our city of heart's desire,

The England of our dreams.

Thou wilt not fail that England,

Living, or dying we know.

Lord, we have nothing to fear from mischance,

Nothing to fear from the foe:

Wrapped in their own desolation,

By terror and death bestrid;

Lord, in that hour have mercy on them

Who knew not what they did.

Now that the heavens are opened,

Now that the trump is blown,

Lord, Thou wilt search the nations,

Lord, Thou wilt know Thine own!

High in the raging storm-wind

The banner of England streams:

England! our city of heart's desire,

The England of our dreams!