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St. Stephen

85. The Son of God goes forth to war



Samuel B. Whitney, 1889

All Saints:

Henry S. Cutler, 1872

St. Anne:

William Croft, 1708

Reginald Heber, 1812

Suitable for any martyr's festival.

The Son of God goes forth to war,

A kingly crown to gain;

His blood-red banner streams afar:

Who follows in his train?

Who best can drink his cup of woe,

Triumphant over pain;

Who patient bears his cross below,

He follows in his train.

The martyr first, whose eagle eye

Could pierce beyond the grave;

Who saw his Master in the sky,

And called on him to save.

Like him, with pardon on his tongue,

In midst of mortal pain,

He prayed for them that did the wrong:

Who follows in his train?

A glorious band, the chosen few,

On whom the Spirit came:

Twelve valiant saints, their hope they knew,

And mocked the cross and flame.

They met the tyrant's brandished steel,

The lion's gory mane;

They bowed their necks the death to feel:

Who follows in their train?

A noble army, men and boys,

The matron and the maid,

Around the Savior's throne rejoice,

In robes of light arrayed.

They climbed the steep ascent of heaven

Through peril, toil, and pain:

O God, to us may grace be given

To follow in their train.


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