Oft in Sorrow, Oft in Woe

A little while ago I encountered the poetry of Henry Kirke White. Though he lived only a short life, he created some remarkably mature work like “Sonnet To My Mother.” Another tremendous work of his is “Oft in Sorrow, Oft in Woe.” Though it has been recorded as a hymn, I prefer it as a poem. Read it and be encouraged by it!

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Oft in sorrow, oft in woe,
Onward, Christian, onward go:
Fight the fight, maintain the strife
Strengthened with the bread of life.

Onward Christians, onward go,
Join the war, and face the foe;
Faint not: Much does yet remain,
Dreary is the long campaign.

Shrink not, Christians will ye yield?
Will ye quit the painful field?
Will ye flee in danger’s hour?
Know ye not your captain’s power?

Let your drooping hearts be glad:
March in heavenly armor clad:
Fight, nor think the battle long,
Victory soon shall be your song.

Let not sorrow dim your eye,
Soon shall every tear be dry;
Let not fears your course impede,
Great your strength, if great your need.

Onward then in battle move,
More than conquerors ye shall prove;
Though opposed by many a foe,
Christian soldiers onward go.