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Christian Ballads

By A. Cleveland Coxe, D.D.

New York: D. Appleton, 1865.



TWAS a true-hearted Scotsman
  Had risen from his knees,
All in a glorious chapel
  Reared by the old Culdees.
That day the axe of Orange
  On Scotland's altars rung,
And down fair cross and crosier
  Upon the Earth were flung.


And as he rose from praying
  The raving mob broke in;
And as he passed the portal,
  He heard the spoiler's din.
He beat his breast--and tear-drops
  They stood in either eye:
He left that church forever,
  But thus did prophesy.


Ah me--St. Andrew's crosier!
  'Tis broken and laid low:
GOD help thee, Church of Scotland,
  It seemeth thy death blow!
They've robbed thee of thine altars,
  They've ta'en thine ancient name;
But thou'rt the Church of Scotland
  Till Scotland melts in flame.


Ay--hear it, heartless William,
  Thou shalt have ne'er a son!
Thy tree--it shall be blighted,
  For this that thou hast done:
Thine orange-bough, in Britain,
  Shall leave nor branch nor shoot,
For GOD uproots the sovereign
  That would His Church uproot.


Ay--grasp old Scotia's thistle,
  Thy daring hand must bleed:
But touch the cross of Andrew,
  Thy soul shall rue the deed!
Unroof the Church of Scotland,
  She lives in dens and caves;
She cries to GOD, and tyrants
  Are ashes, in their graves.


And thou, old Church, like princes
  When clowns usurp their state,
Shalt be confest, in exile,
  The ancient and the great!
Not she that thus usurpeth
  Can boast one grace of thine;
That grace--it cometh only
  Of Apostolic line.


Then leave to grim Genevans
  Cathedral choir and aisle,
Let psalms of Covenanters
  Be quavered there awhile!
The very stones shall flout them,
  In beauty built, and might,
For apostolic service,
  And high liturgic rite.


And thou, true Church of Scotland,
  Cast down, shalt not despair;
When dowered wives are barren,
  The desolate shall bear;
Thy sons--they shall be princes,
  To take their fathers' stead,
And shame the Church whose portion
  Is proud, and full of bread.


When o'er the western waters
  They seek for crook and key,
The LORD shall make like Hannah's
  Thy poor and low degree!
Thou o'er new worlds the scepter
  Of Shiloh shalt extend,
And see a line of children
  From thy sad breast descend.


And when, at length, old Scotland,
  Her chiefs and her true men,
Her Highlands and her Lowlands
  Shall find their hearts agen:
When martyr'd Sharpe upriseth
  In spirit 'gainst his foes,
And souls are bred in Scotland
  To match the great Montrose;


In Edin's high cathedral,
  No more the fish-wife's voice;
In Glasgow's crypts and cloisters,
  No more the rabble's choice;
Oh then St. Andrew's crosier
  Once more shall be upheld,
And the Culdee mitre glisten
  In Brechin and Dunkeld.


See after See uprearing
  Once more the shattered cross;
Once more a bishop treading
  The heathery braes of Ross;
Fair Elgin's choir enfolding
 The Moray shepherd's rest,
And Holyrood--from ruins
  Uprising, bright and blest;


From Berwick to the Orkneys,
  How each old kirk shall gleam
In beauty and in brightness,
  With thy returning beam
One heart in Gael and Saxon,
  In cotter and in thane;
One creed--one Church in Scotland,
  From Caithness to Dumblane!


Then faint not, Church of Scotland!
  Thy beauty and thy worth
Shall make a new uprising,
  In fair and sightly Perth;
When shines in wild Glenalmond
  The dew of thy new day,
Again thy noon of glory
  Shall glitter o'er the Tay.


Bide thou thy time in patience!
  The sons of thy bold foes
Shall build thine old waste places,
  Dunfermline and Melrose.
Where now the Sons of havoc
  Upon thine altars tread,
Thine own Liturgic Service
  Shall bless the Cup and Bread.


Save only from the spoiler
  That pure and ancient rite!
In Scotland's pure Oblation
  All churches must unite:
And--as the Ark of Scotland,
  Keep thou thy rightful name,
For thou'rt the Church of Scotland
  Till Scotland melts in flame!

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