“As o’er Columbia still shall wave… The banner of the brave and free.”

Posted on April 21, 2011 by


A little pre-Civil War, Southern poetry for the day…


AIR–“Old Hundred.”

GOD of the Year!–whose watchful eye
O’er all Thy great Creation bends;
Whose mercies all Thy children share;
Whose love to all Thy works extends–
In this our Country’s hour of need,
A Nation’s heart bows down to Thee;
In mercy rule the impending storm
Fast gathering o’er our liberty.

Righteous and wondrous are Thy ways,
And all Thy judgments true and just–
Ah! let not vaunting Discord trail
Our glorious Banner in the dust;

That banner, o’er whose stainless folds
Hath flowed the life-blood of the brave;
For which, in times of danger past,
Their all our fathers nobly gave.

Shall gaunt Disunion hovering nigh
To our bright flag destruction bring,
While, ‘mid the brooding shadows dark,
Our Eagle droops his wounded wing?
No! show Thy face, Almighty God,
While peril stalks on every hand;
Stretch forth thine own all-powerful arm,
And save our own, our Native Land.

Ah, save the Land which gave us birth;
The Land for which our fathers bled;
Through whose worn paths our infant feet
Were, earliest, to Thy Temples led.
God! save the Land, in whose blest soil
Sleeps Freedom’s best and noblest son,
Nor let Discord her triumphs boast
Above the Grave of Washington.

Stay, stay the raging billows, Lord,–
E’en waves obey Thy great command.
Thou holdest Nations, great and small,
Within the hollow of Thy hand.
Oh! in this fearful, trying hour,
Our refuge and our safety be,
As ‘mid the tempest, threat’ning, dark,
A Nation’s heart looks up to Thee.

Hide not Thy face in anger now,
Though we have erred and strayed from Thee,
And in our boasted might, perchance,
To other idols bowed the knee.
Remember not our wanderings, Lord,
As on Destruction’s brink we stand;
But kindly call, in Mercy’s voice,
And lead us back by Mercy’s hand.

God of the Year! receive our prayer,
In this our Country’s trying hour;
Unveil Thy face–stretch forth Thine arm–
And save us by Thy mighty power.

So shall our praise be of Thy name,
Our glad hosannas all of Thee,
As o’er Columbia still shall wave
The banner of the brave and free.

January 1st, 1861.

So, was this poet a Southern Unionist?

More about the author of the poem, coming up sometime in the next day or so.