Cadet Smirk (jayarr) wrote,
Cadet Smirk
jayarr

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A glorious band, the chosen few

So I bought The Man Who Would Be King on DVD yesterday, as I hadn't seen it in ages (and also because I've been on a colonial kick lately, watching Zulu, Lawrence of Arabia, and The Wind and the Lion in the past week or so--all heartily recommended). The main characters, Daniel Dravot (Sean Connery) and Peachy Carnahan (Michael Caine), sing bits and pieces of an old hymn in the film, one I've always liked but never knew it's title. Diligent searching has led me to it, though, and it is now my favorite hymn.

"The Son of God Goes Forth to War"
Words by Reginald Heber, 1812
Music "All Saints" by Henry Cutler, 1872

The Son of God goes forth to war,
A kingly crown to gain;
His blood red banner streams afar:
Who follows in His train?
Who best can drink his cup of woe,
Triumphant over pain,
Who patient bears his cross below,
He follows in His train.

That martyr first, whose eagle eye
Could pierce beyond the grave;
Who saw his Master in the sky,
And called on Him to save.
Like Him, with pardon on His tongue,
In midst of mortal pain,
He prayed for them that did the wrong:
Who follows in His train?

A glorious band, the chosen few
On whom the Spirit came;
Twelve valiant saints, their hope they knew,
And mocked the cross and flame.
They met the tyrant’s brandished steel,
The lion’s gory mane;
They bowed their heads the death to feel:
Who follows in their train?

A noble army, men and boys,
The matron and the maid,
Around the Savior’s throne rejoice,
In robes of light arrayed.
They climbed the steep ascent of Heav’n,
Through peril, toil and pain;
O God, to us may grace be given,
To follow in their train.

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