Home  »  A Library of American Literature  »  The City of God

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

The City of God

By Samuel Johnson (1822–1882)

[Born in Salem, Mass., 1822. Died at North Andover, Mass., 1882. Hymns of the Spirit. 1864.]

CITY of God, how broad and far

Outspread thy walls sublime!

The true thy chartered freemen are,

Of every age and clime.

One holy Church, one army strong,

One steadfast high intent,

One working band, one harvest-song,

One King Omnipotent.

How purely hath thy speech come down

From man’s primeval youth;

How grandly hath thine empire grown

Of Freedom, Love, and Truth!

How gleam thy watchfires through the night,

With never fainting ray!

How rise thy towers, serene and bright,

To meet the dawning day!

In vain the surge’s angry shock,

In vain the drifting sands;

Unharmed, upon the Eternal Rock,

The Eternal City stands.