Friday, March 19, 2010

Scotland's Covenants

William M. Hetherington, Poems on Various Subjects (1851), pp. 85-90:

SCOTLAND’S COVENANTS (written in 1843)

Heard ye the tidings dire,
Ye Scottish Christians true?
That Rome’s remorseless ire
Is forging chains for you?

That Spain’s Armada vast
Sweeps o’er the groaning waves,
On you those chains to cast,
And make you crouching slaves!

Unconquered land! awake!
In Covenant-strength combine!
To God your great vow make
For liberty divine!

’Tis done! Her soul is free!
Spain’s Jesuit hordes are fled!
Scotland, on grateful knee,
Adores her KING and HEAD!

By king-craft and dark guile
Has Scotland been betrayed;
Proud prelates scornful smile
On her all prostrate laid.

Her spirit is not dead, –
Her Covenant not disowned; –
Yet shall her KING and HEAD
In His pledged land be throned.

Faith lives, and prayers arise, –
God hears her solemn vow;
That banner o’er the skies
Again is floating now!

Free is the Covenant-land, –
Yes, free! tho’ despots rage,
And with red ruthless hand
Fierce persecution wage.

To Heaven the martyr-cries
Ascend, “O Lord, how long!”
The crownless tyrant flies, –
For God, our Judge, is strong!

Again dark clouds sunk o’er
The land; faith silent grew;
No hand aloft upbore
The Covenant-banner blue.

Unhallowed scorn grew bold, –
Proud strength to rend it tried:–
Not yet is Scotland cold, –
The assailant is defied!

Let the war-cry be given!
Let the loud trumpet ring!
Free to the winds of heaven
Our ancient banner fling!

Bold in Emmanuel’s cause,
Faith’s glorious fight we wage;
For CHRIST – His CROWN – and LAWS,
We dare the foe’s wild rage!

Where stood our martyred sires
We stand – the cause is one!
Not persecution’s fires
We fear – but God alone!

What tho’ for conscience’ sake
Homeless we journey forth,
Let us one temple make
Of God’s own heaven and earth!

All sufferings, Lord, we hail,
Rejoicing – when for Thee! –
Hark! shouts rise on the gale! –

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