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A PRAYER USED BY FRANCIS I WHEN HE WAS AT WAR WITH CHARLES V, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: Almighty lord of hosts, by whose commands
Last Line: Triumphant hymns to thee, th' eternal king.
Subject(s): Peace; Prayer; Victory; War

ALMIGHTY Lord of Hosts, by whose commands
The guardian angels rule their destin'd lands;
And watchful, at thy word, to save or slay,
Of peace or war administer the sway!
Thou, who against the great Goliah's rage;
Didst arm the stripling David to engage;
When, with a sling, a small unarmed youth
Smote a huge giant, in defence of truth;
Hear us, we pray thee, if our cause be true,
If sacred justice be our only view;
If right and duty, not the will to war,
Have forc'd our armies to proceed thus far,
Then turn the hearts of all our foes to peace,
That war and bloodshed in the land may cease:
Or, put to flight by providential dread,
Let them lament their errors, not their dead.
If some must die, protect the righteous all,
And let the guilty, few as may be, fall.
With pitying speed the victory decree
To them, whose cause is best approv'd by thee;
That sheath'd on all sides the devouring sword,
And peace and justice to our land restor'd,
We all together, with one heart, may sing
Triumphant hymns to thee, th' Eternal King.

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