Page created: July 7, 2004




BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC

This hymn was born during the American civil war, when Julia W. Howe visited a Union Army camp on the Potomac River near Washington, D. C. She heard the soldiers singing the song John Brown's Body and was taken with the strong marching beat.
She wrote the words the next day:

I awoke in the grey of the morning, and as I lay waiting for dawn, the long lines of the desired poem began to en­twine them­selves in my mind, and I said to my­self, “I must get up and write hese vers­es, lest I fall asleep and for­get them!” So I sprang out of bed and in the dim­ness found an old stump of a pen, which I re­mem­bered us­ing the day be­fore. I scrawled the vers­es al­most with­out look­ing at the p­aper.

The hymn ap­peared in the Atlantic Monthly in 1862. It was sung at the funerals of British statesman Winston Churchill, American senator Robert Kennedy, and American president Ronald Reagan.


"The Battle Hymn of the Republic"

by Julia Ward Howe


Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
                       His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
                       His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
"As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
                       Since God is marching on."


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2004 Created & Copyrighted by Nellieanna H. Hay