Home  »  A Library of American Literature  »  God Save the Nation

Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

God Save the Nation

By Theodore Tilton (1835–1907)

[Born in New York, N. Y., 1835. Died in Paris, France, 1907. The Sexton’s Tale, and Other Poems. 1867.—Thou and I. 1880.]

THOU who ordainest, for the land’s salvation,

Famine, and fire, and sword, and lamentation,

Now unto Thee we lift our supplication—

God save the Nation!

By the great sign foretold of Thy appearing,

Coming in clouds, while mortal men stand fearing,

Show us, amid the smoke of battle, clearing,

Thy chariot nearing.

By the brave blood that floweth like a river,

Hurl Thou a thunderbolt from out Thy quiver!

Break Thou the strong gates! every fetter shiver!

Smite and deliver!

Slay Thou our foes, or turn them to derision!

Then, in the blood-red Valley of Decision,

Clothe Thou the fields, as in the prophet’s vision,

With peace Elysian!