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Battle Hymn of the Republic

Julia Ward Howe 1819 (New York City) – 1910 (Portsmouth)

. Howe's Final version
  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 hath loosed the fatal lightning of his terrible swift sword:
  His Truth is marching on.
  I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
  They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
  I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps.
  His Day is marching on.
  I have read a fiery gospel, writ in burnished rows of steel:
  'As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
  Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
  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 his 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.
  2. Howe's First Manuscript Version
  Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
  He is trampling out the wine press, where the grapes of wrath are stored,
  He hath loosed the fateful lightnings of his terrible swift sword,
  His truth is marching on.
  I have seen him in the watchfires of an hundred circling camps
  They have builded him an altar in the evening dews and damps,
  I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps,
  His day is marching on.
  I have read a burning Gospel writ in fiery rows of steel,
  As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal
  Let the hero born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
  Our God is marching on.

  He has sounded out the trumpet that shall never call retreat,
  He has waked the earth's dull sorrow with a high ecstatic beat,
  Oh! be swift my soul to answer him, be jubilant my feet
  Our God is marching on.

  In the whiteness of the lilies he was born across the sea
  With a glory in his bosom that shines out on you and me,
  As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
  Our God is marching on.

  He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave
  He is wisdom to the mighty, he is sucour to the brave
  So the world shall be his footstool, and the soul of Time his slave
  Our God is marching on.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Julia Ward Howe

Julia Ward Howe was a prominent American abolitionist, social activist, poet, and the author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic". more…

All Julia Ward Howe poems | Julia Ward Howe Books

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