O God of Earth and Altar [The Chesterton Prayer]

O God of Earth and Altar [The Chesterton Prayer]
(Anthem for SATB Chorus and Organ)
by
Dan Locklair

O God of Earth and Altar [The Chesterton Prayer] (Anthem for SATB Chorus and Organ) sets a well-known hymn text by the British writer, G.K. Chesterton. Dedicated to my parents, it was composed in 1975 in Binghamton, New York. Originally published by H.W. Gray, it is now published by Subito.

Dan Locklair

O God of earth and altar,
    Bow down and hear our cry.
Our earthly rulers falter,
    Our people drift and die;
The walls of gold entomb us,
    The swords of scorn divide,
Take not thy thunder from us,
    But take away our pride.

From all that terror teaches,
    From lies of tongue and pen,
From all the easy speeches
    That comfort cruel men,
For sale and profanation
    Of honour and the sword,
From sleep and from damnation,
    Deliver us, good lord.

Tie in a living tether
    The prince and priest and thrall,
Bind all our lives together,
    Smite us and save us all;
In ire and exultation
    Aflame with faith, and free,
Lift up a living nation,
    A single sword to thee.

G.K. Chesterton