Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century
Alfred H. Miles, ed.  The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
II. “Round the Sacred City gather”
By Samuel John Stone (1839–1900)
Battle Hymn of Church Defence

ROUND the Sacred City gather
  Egypt, Edom, Babylon;
All the warring hosts of error,
  Sworn against her, are as one:
Vain the leaguer! her foundations        5
  Are upon the holy hills,
And the love of the ETERNAL
  All her stately temple fills.
Get thee, watchman, to the rampart!
  Gird thee, warrior, with thy sword!        10
And be strong as ye remember
  In your midst is GOD the LORD:
Like the night-mists from the valley,
  These shall vanish, one by one,
Egypt’s malice, Edom’s envy,        15
  And the hate of Babylon.
But be true, ye sons and daughters,
  Lest the peril be within;
Watch to prayer, lest in your slumber
  Stealthy foemen enter in;        20
Safe the mother and the children
  If their will and love be strong,
While their loyal hearts go singing
  Prayer and praise for battle-song.
Church of GOD! if we forget thee,        25
  Let His blessing fail our hand;
When our love shall not prefer thee,
  Let His love forget our land—
Nay! our memory shall be steadfast
  Though in storm the mountains shake,        30
And our love is love for ever,
  For it is for JESUS’ sake.
Church of JESUS! His thy Banner
  And thy Banner’s awful Sign:
By His passion and His glory        35
  Thou art His and He is thine:
From the Hill of His Redemption
  Flows thy sacramental tide:
From the Hill of His Ascension
  Flows the grace of God thy Guide.        40
Yea: thou Church of GOD the SPIRIT!
  His Society Divine,
His the living Word thou keepest,
  His thy Apostolic line,
Ancient prayer and song liturgic,        45
  Creeds that change not to the end,
As His gift we have received them,
  As His charge we will defend.
Alleluia, Alleluia,
  To the FATHER, SPIRIT, SON,        50
In Whose will the Church at warfare
  With the Church at rest is one:
So to THEE we sing in union,
  GOD in earth and Heav’n adored,
Alleluia, Alleluia,        55
  Holy, Holy, Holy LORD.

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