by Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809 - 1894)

Army Hymn
Language: English 
O Lord of Hosts! Almighty King!
Behold the sacrifice we bring!
To every arm Thy strengthen part,
Thy spirit shed through every heart!

Wake in our breasts the living fires,
The holy faith that warmed our sires;
Thy Power has 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.

No more its flaming emblems wave
To bar from hope the trembling slave;
No more its radiant glories shine,
To blast with [woe]1 one child of Thine!

From treason's rend, from murder's slain,
Guard Thou its folds still peace shall reign;
Till fort and field, till shore and sea
Join our loud anthem Praise to Thee!

View original text (without footnotes)
Note: written to be sung to the Old Hundredth psalm tune. Holmes added the fifth verse at the request of Dresel. First published in The Atlantic Monthly, June 1861.
1 Dresel: "war"


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2007-09-26
Line count: 24
Word count: 161