Recessional

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By Rudyard Kipling

 

God of our fathers, known of old –

Lord of our far-flung battle line –

Beneath whose awful hand we hold

Dominion over palm and pine –

Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,

Lest we forget – lest we forget!

 

The tumult and the shouting dies –

The Captains and the Kings depart –

Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,

An humble and a contrite heart.

Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,

Lest we forget – lest we forget!

 

Far-called our navies melt away –

On dune and headland sinks the fire –

Lo, all our pomp of yesterday

Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!

 

Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,

Lest we forget – lest we forget!

 

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose

Wild tongues that have not thee in awe –

Such boastings as the Gentiles use,

Or lesser breeds without the Law –

Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,

Lest we forget – lest we forget!

 

For heathen heart that puts her trust

In reeking tube and iron shard –

All valiant dust that builds on dust,

And guarding calls not Thee to guard.

For frantic boast and foolish word,

Thy Mercy on Thy People, Lord!

 

– Amen

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