1 The fathers built this city
In ages long ago,
And, busy in its busy streets,
They hurried to and fro;
The children played around them
And sang the songs of yore,
Till, one by one, they fell asleep,
To work and play no more.
2 Yet still the city standeth,
A hive of toiling men,
And mother’s love makes happy home
For children now as then;
O God of ages, help us,
Such citizens to be,
That children’s children here may sing
The songs of liberty!
3 Let all the people praise Thee,
Give all Thy saving health,
Or vain the laborer’s strong right arm
And vain the merchant’s wealth;
Send forth Thy light to stablish
The glory of the Word,
Until this city is become
The city of the Lord!
Tarrant, William George, B.A., b. 1853. Since 1883 Minister of the Wandsworth Unitarian Christian Church. Editor of The Inquirer, 1888-97. One of the editors of the Essex Hall Hymnal. 1890, and of the Revised ed., 1902.
1. Come, let us Join with faithful souls. The Faithful.
2. Draw nigh to God; He will draw nigh to you. The Divine Helper.
3. Long ago the lilies faded. The Constant Presence.
4. The Light along the ages. Easter.
5. With happy voices ringing. Children's Praise.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)
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