Apotheosis Of The Sword

PRIEST .

Hark to the Song of the Sword!
In the beginning, a Word
Came from the lips of the Lord;
And He said, " The Earth shall be,
And around the Earth and Sea,
And over these twain the Skies;
And out of the Earth shall rise
Man, the last and the first;
And Man shall hunger and thirst,
And shall eat of the fruits in the sun,
And drink of the streamlets that run,
And shall find the wild yellow grains,
And, opening earth, in its veins
Sow the seeds of the same; for of bread
I have written that he shall be fed."
Thus at the first said the Lord.

CHOIR .

Hark to the Song of the Sword!

PRIEST .

Then Man sowed the grain, and to bread
Kneaded the grain, and was fed,
He and his household indeed
To the last generation and seed:
Then the children of men, young and old,
Sat by the waters of gold,
And ate of the bread and the fruit,
And drank of the stream, but made suit
For blessing no more than the brute.
And God said, " 'Twere better to die
Than eat and drink merely, and lie
Beast-like and foul on the sod,
Lusting, forgetful of God!"
And he whispered, " Dig deeper again,
Under the region of grain,
And bring forth the thing ye find there
Shapeless and dark; and prepare
Fire, — and into the same
Cast what ye find — let it flame —
And when it is burning blood-bright,
Pluck it forth, and with hammers of might
Beat it out, beat it out, till ye mark
The thing that was shapeless and dark
Grown beautiful, azure, and keen,
Purged in the fire and made clean,
Beautiful, holy, and bright,
Gleaming aloft in the light; —
Then lift it, and wield!" said the Lord.

CHOIR .

Hark to the Song of the Sword!

PRIEST .

Then Man with a brighter desire
Saw the beautiful thing from the fire,
And the slothful arose, and the mean
Trembled to see it so keen,
And God, as they gather'd and cried,
Thunder'd a World far and wide:
" This Sword is the Sword of the Strong!
It shall strike at the life's blood of wrong;
It shall kill the unclean, it shall wreak
My doom on the shameful and weak;
And the strong with this sign in their hands
Shall gather their hosts in the lands,
And strike at the mean and the base,
And strengthen from race on to race;
And the weak shall be wither'd at length,
For the glory of Man is his strength,
And the weak man must die," saith the Lord.

CHOIR .

Hark to the Song of the Sword!

PRIEST .

Sire, whom all men of thy race
Name as their hope and their grace;
King of the Rhine-water'd land.
Heart of the state and its hand,
Thou of the purple and crown,
Take, while thy servants bow down,
The Sword in thy grasp.

KAISER .

It is done.

PRIEST .

Uplift! let it gleam in the sun —
Uplift in the name of the Lord!

CHOIR .

Hail to the King and the Sword!

KAISER .

Lo! how it gleams in the light,
Beautiful, bloody, and bright —
Such in the dark days of yore
The monarchs of Israel bore;
Such by the angels of heaven
To Charles the Mighty was given —
Yea, I uplift the Sword,
Thus in the name of the Lord!

THE CHIEFS .

Form ye a circle of fire
Around him, our King and our Sire —
While in the centre he stands,
Kneel with your swords in your hands,
Then with one voice deep and free
Echo like waves of the sea —
" In the name of the Lord!"

CHANCELLOR .

Sire, while thou liftest the Sword,
Thus in the name of the Lord,
I too, thy slave, kneel and blend
My voice with the hosts that attend —
Yea, and while kneeling I hold
A scroll writ in letters of gold,
With the names of the monarchs who bow
Thy liegemen throned lower than thou;
Moreover, in letters of red,
Their names who ere long must be led
To thy feet, while thou liftest the Sword,
Thus in the name of the Lord.

VOICES WITHOUT .

Where is he? — he fades from our sight!
Where the Sword? — all is blacker than night.
Is it finish'd, that loudly ye cry?
Doth he sheathe the great Sword while we die?
O bury us deep, most deep;
Write o'er us, wherever we sleep,
" In the name of the Lord!"

KAISER .

While I uplift the Sword,
Thus in the name of the Lord,
Why, with mine eyes full of tears,
Am I sick of the song in mine ears?
God of the Israelite, hear;
God of the Teuton, be near;
Strengthen my pulse lest I fail,
Shut out these slain while they wail —
For they come with the voice of the grave
On the glory they give me and gave.

CHORUS .

In the name of the Lord? Of what Lord?
Where is He, this God of the Sword?
Unfold Him; where hath He his throne?
Is he Lord of the Teuton alone?
Doth He walk on the earth? Doth He tread
On the limbs of the dying and dead?
Unfold Him! We sicken, and long
To look on this God of the strong!

PRIEST .

Hush! In the name of the Lord,
Kneel ye, and bless ye the Sword!
Bless it with soul and with brain,
Bless it for saved and for slain,
For the sake of the dead in the tomb,
For the sake of the child in the womb,
For the sake of these Kings on the knee,
For the sake of a world it shall free!
Bless it, the Sword! bless the Sword!
Yea, in the name of the Lord!

CHIEFS .

Deepen the circle of Fire
Around him, our King and our Sire!
While in our centre he towers,
Kneeling, ye spirits, ye powers,
Bless it and bless it again,
Bless it for saved and for slain,
Bless ye the beautiful Sword,
Aloud in the name of the Lord!

KAISER .

In the name of the Lord!

ALL .

In the name of the Lord!
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