Lord, Establish Peace

Once more upon its fiery centre hung
Has this great world its trackless orbit traced,
And still Thine offspring, God, are being flung
By brutal war like compost on the waste;
Look on the killed and those compelled to kill,
And peace establish, if it be Thy will.
The silver moon that rules the grisly nights
Has registered but sighs and griefs, and groans,
The stars have witnessed soul-distressing sights,
And of the dying Thou hast heard the moans;
Behold, O God, the souls that slaughtered lie!
To Thou, O God of peace, for peace we cry.
The dew upon the fields of France is red,
And Belgium battered, bruised, and bleeding lies.
Trembles the earth beneath the martial tread
Of myriads who fall no more to rise—
Bring to an end, O Lord, this brutal strife,
And grant Thy people poor a tranquil life.
The welkin shakes with bursting shot and shell,
Uprooted hills are to the heavens hurled,
And from the fierce, infernal regions hell
Has launched her legions headlong on the world—
Look, Lord, upon Thy people’s sorrows sore
And early, in Thy mercy, peace restore.
What comes tomorrow none of us can tell,
Shall new year bells the Saviour’s advent ring?
Or shall this hell a still more horrid hell,
With all its woes, upon Thy people bring?
Upon Thine intervention, Lord, we wait,
For only Thou canst peace on earth create.
Not unto Thee we cry as tho’ we claim
Thy mercy as a just and bounden right.
Our wilful ways have loaded us with shame,
And unto those we owe our present plight;
But look upon us for Thy mercy’s sake,
And for our preservation, Lord, awake.