THE BATTLE-HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC
by: Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910)
- INE eyes
have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
- He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath
- He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift
- His truth is marching on.
- I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling
- They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
- I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring
- 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
- Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
- Since God is marching on."
- He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
- He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
- Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
- Our God is marching on.
- In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
- With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
- As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
- While God is marching on.
POEMS BY JULIA WARD HOWE
"The Battle-Hymn of the Republic"
is reprinted from The Little Book of American Poets: 1787-1900.
Ed. Jessie B. Rittenhouse. Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1915.
"The Battle Hymn of the Republic"
was written in 1861 when Mrs. Howe, in company with the Secretary
of War, visited the military camps near Washington. When the
review was over, the soldiers thronged about the camp singing
"John Brown's Body." Mrs. Howe, as she afterward related,
was greatly stirred by the incident, but impressed by the inadequacy
of the words to so fine a martial air. That night she awakened
with the first stanza of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"
complete in her mind and before morning the entire poem had taken
This note is reprinted from The
Little Book of American Poets: 1787-1900. Ed. Jessie B. Rittenhouse.
Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1915.