O holy city, seen of John


O holy city, seen of John,
where Christ, the Lamb, doth reign,
within whose foursquare walls shall come
no night, nor need, nor pain,
and where the tears are wiped from eyes
that shall not weep again!

Hark, how from men whose lives are held
more cheap than merchandise;
from women struggling sore for bread,
from little children's cries,
there swells the sobbing human plaint
that bids thy walls arise!

O shame to us who rest content
while lust and greed for gain
in street and shop and tenement
wring gold from human pain,
and bitter lips in blind despair cry,
"Christ hath died in vain!"

Give us, O God, the strength to build
the city that hath stood
too long a dream, whose laws are love,
whose ways are brotherhood,
and where the sun that shineth is
God's grace for human good.

Already in the mind of God
that city riseth fair:
lo, how its splendor challenges
the souls that greatly dare--
yea, bids us seize the whole of life
and build its glory there.


Words: Walter Russel Bowie, 1910

Music: Morning Song, Sancta civitas

Meter: 86 86 86

Website compiled by Steve Benner, 1999-2003.