A Cry from the Trenches

Jesus, mighty Son of God,
Who hast lain in death for me,
From this blood-besotted sod
Let my cry come near to Thee.
Turn not from my prayer away,
Let me see Thy face divine;
Shed of love a kindly ray
Into this dark heart of mine.
Thou hast from a flowing bowl
Drunk the sorrows of our race;
Shed Thy blood, my sinful soul
From defilement to efface.
Therefore I would lay my head,
Saviour, on Thy faithful breast
Where the dying welter red,
Where the dead unburied rest.
Oft have I, alas, forgot
Thee when circumstances shone
Bright upon my earthly lot
In the days forever gone.
Now when danger presses near,
Now when wanders death abroad,
Now when fenced around by fear,
Turn I to the living God.
Thou wilt not my prayer refuse,
Thou wilt pity my distress;
Let not unbelief accuse
Love divine of carelessness.
It is not what I have been,
It is not what I am now—
On Thy grace my soul would lean
As I at Thy footstool bow.
From the fierce and fiery dart,
From the sword that seeks my life,
Cover Thou my head and heart
Mid the sanguinary strife.
Let me underneath Thy wing
Shelter from the danger find;
Back from gates of hades bring
Me preserved in heart and mind.
From the deadly fume and flame,
From the storm of iron rain,
Messengers of death that maim,
Blind and bruise and break and brain,
Be my shelter and my shield;
From destruction me defend,
On the fearful battlefield
Mercy unto me extend.
Where the blast of winter bites,
Where I sink in seas of mire,
Where the shower of shrapnel smites,
Where is reigning slaughter dire;
There Thy servant poor behold,
Who has trust in none but Thee;
In Thine arms of love enfold
Thy blood-ransomed, even me.
And in Thy compassions great
Look upon this human sea
Foaming with infernal hate
In its ignorance of Thee;
And rebuke the winds and waves,
Bid their agitation cease,
Crush the power that man enslaves,
Bid the nations be at peace.