Once To Every Man And Nation

Once To Every Man And Nation was a poem written by James Russell Lowell, son of a Congregational minister, in the Boston Courier in December 11th, 1845. He wrote these words as a protest in regard to America’s war with Mexico.

This poem was later put to music by Thomas J. William in 1890 to the tune of Ebenezer.

James Russell Lowell was a prominent poet and prolific author and has a large collection of quotes to his name. Below is one that I like very much.



Thank God every morning when you get up
that you have something to do that day,
which must be done,
whether you like it or not.






To print 'Once To Every Man and Nation', just highlight the words of the hymn and copy and paste into your word editor.



Once To Every Man and Nation

~ James Russell Lowell, 1819-1891

Stanza 1:

Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide,

In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side;

Some great cause, some great decision, offering each the bloom or blight,

And the choice goes by forever, ’twixt that darkness and that light.



Stanza 2:

Then to side with truth is noble, when we share her wretched crust,

Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and ’tis prosperous to be just;

Then it is the brave man chooses while the coward stands aside,

Till the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied.



Stanza 3:

By the light of burning martyrs, Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track,

Toiling up new Calv’ries ever with the cross that turns not back;

New occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth,

They must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth.



Stanza 4:

Though the cause of evil prosper, yet the truth alone is strong;

Though her portion be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong;

Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown,

Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.




This hymn was quoted by Rev. Martin Luther King at the conclusion of his speech, 'Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence' in April 4th, 1967 at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City, USA.





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