Hymn For The Fair At Chicago by Oliver Wendell Holmes

O GOD! in danger’s darkest hour,
In battle’s deadliest field,
Thy name has been our Nation’s tower,
Thy truth her help and shield.

Our lips should fill the air with praise,
Nor pay the debt we owe,
So high above the songs we raise
The floods of mercy flow.

Yet Thou wilt hear the prayer we speak,
The song of praise we sing,–
Thy children, who thine altar seek
Their grateful gifts to bring.

Thine altar is the sufferer’s bed,
The home of woe and pain,
The soldier’s turfy pillow, red
With battle’s crimson rain.

No smoke of burning stains the air,
No incense-clouds arise;
Thy peaceful servants, Lord, prepare
A bloodless sacrifice.

Lo! for our wounded brothers’ need,
We bear the wine and oil;
For us they faint, for us they bleed,
For them our gracious toil!

O Father, bless the gifts we bring!
Cause Thou thy face to shine,
Till every nation owns her King,
And all the earth is thine.

1865.

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