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National Days

433. Once to every man and nation


Welsh Hymn Melody

James Russell Lowell, 1845;


Once to every man and nation

Comes the moment to decide,

In the strife of truth with falsehood,

For the good or evil side;

Some great cause, God's new Messiah,

Offering each the bloom or blight,

And the choice goes by for ever

'Twixt that darkness and that light.

Then to side with truth is noble,

When we share her wretched crust,

Ere her cause bring fame and profit,

And 'tis prosperous to be just;


Then it is the brave man chooses,

While the coward stands aside

Till the multitude make virtue

Of the faith they had denied.

By the light of burning martyrs

Jesus' bleeding feet I track,

Toiling up new Calvaries ever

With the cross that turns not back;

New occasions teach new duties,

Time makes ancient good uncouth;

They must upward still and onward

Who would keep abreast of truth.

Though the cause of evil prosper,

Yet 'tis truth alone is strong;

Though her portion be the scaffold,

And upon the throne be wrong,

Yet that scaffold sways the future,

And, behind the dim unknown,

Standeth God within the shadow

Keeping watch above his own.

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