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Chesterton, “O God of Earth and Altar”

My friend, Greg Thornbury, mentioned this poem recently, and it grabbed me as a fitting poetic prayer for our time. So, this poem from Chesterton is on my door as the poem of the week.

“O God of Earth and Altar”

by G.K. CHESTERTON

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 honour 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.

 

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