Wednesday, November 19, 2014

G.K. Chesterton and Iron Maiden? Yes!

No, not Yes, but Iron Maiden! Just the first verse of Chesterton's poem, "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.

- G.K. Chesterton, 1906

A more common hymn tune is King's Lynn, here sung by the choir and congregation at St. Martin-in-the-Fields:

It can also be sung to the tune Aurelia ("The Church's One Foundation"). More information about the hymn here. It could be an appropriate hymn for the great Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe this coming Sunday.

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