March 2010 By Rick Godley
Recently I was made aware of the full poem ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’ written February 1 1862 by Julia Ward Howe. I’m going to pen it in full for you below. After you read it, I’d be curious to see your thoughts on what book do you think influenced her to write such and epic. Compare her words with the modern praise and worship songs.
‘Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He has loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His Truth is marching on.
I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel;
As ye deal with my contemnors, so with you my grace shall deal’;
Let the hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heal,
Since God is marching on.
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be Jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea;
With a glory in him bosom that transfigures you and me:
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.”
Julia Ward Howe was paid five dollars by the Atlantic Monthly Magazine for this inspirational classic.
Do you feel like this song has even more relevance for our generation? Weep now softly as the tears will be well spent.