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Short poem

Sabine Baring-Gould (1824-1924)

Onward, Christian Soldiers

              1Onward, Christian soldiers,
              2  Marching as to war,
              3With the Cross of Jesus
              4  Going on before.
              5Christ the royal Master
              6  Leads against the foe;
              7Forward into battle,
              8  See, his banners go!
              9          Onward, Christian soldiers,
            10            Marching as to war,
            11          With the Cross of Jesus
            12            Going on before.

            13At the sign of triumph
            14  Satan's legions flee;
            15On then, Christian soldiers,
            16  On to victory.
            17Hell's foundations quiver
            18  At the shout of praise;
            19Brothers, lift your voices,
            20  Loud your anthems raise.

            21Like a mighty army
            22  Moves the Church of God;
            23Brothers, we are treading
            24  Where the Saints have trod;
            25We are not divided,
            26  All one body we,
            27One in hope and doctrine
            28  One in charity:

            29Crowns and thorns may perish,
            30  Kingdoms rise and wane,
            31But the Church of Jesus
            32  Constant will remain;
            33Gates of hell can never
            34  'Gainst that Church prevail;
            35We have Christ's own promise,
            36  And that cannot fail.

            37Onward, then, ye people,
            38  Join our happy throng,
            39Blend with ours your voices
            40  In the triumph song;
            41Glory, laud and honour
            42  Unto Christ the King;
            43This through countless ages
            44  Men and Angels sing.
            45          Onward, Christian soldiers,
            46            Marching as to war,
            47          With the Cross of Jesus
            48            Going on before.


1] Composed as a processional hymn for children at Horbury Bridge, near Wakefield, Yorkshire, published in The Church Times in 1864, and set to its now-traditional tune, "St. Gertrude," by Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900) in 1871 (Handbook to the Church Hymnary, 3rd edn., ed. John M. Barkley [London: Oxford University Press, 1979], no. 480, p. 174). Baring-Gould originally entitled the song "Hymn for Procession with Cross and Banners," and it is still listed among processional pieces in hymnals.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: The English Hymnal with Tunes (London: Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press; and A. R. Mowbray [1906]), no. 643, pp. 832-33. M 2136 .E554 1906 Trinity College Library.
First publication date: 1864
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 2:2002/1/16

Composition date: 1864
Rhyme: abcbdefe

Other poems by Sabine Baring-Gould