December 26, 2013

Leader Now on Earth No Longer

Soldier of the Eternal King

Leader Now on Earth No Longer was written by J.W. Reeks (1849-1900) in honour of St. George (c.275/281-303), the Patron Saint of England. In the Roman calendar, the Feast Day of St. George is celebrated on April 23. The recommended musical setting in the Divine Office is the hymn tune: Swavesey. It can also be sung to the tune: Blaenwern, as featured in the following video.

Tune: Blaenwern

LEADER NOW ON EARTH NO LONGER by J.W. Reeks (Public Domain)

1. Leader now on earth no longer,
soldier of th’eternal king,
victor in the fight for heaven,
we thy loving praises sing.

Refrain: Great Saint George, our patron,
              help us, in the conflict be thou nigh;
              help us in that daily battle,
              where each one must win or die.

2. Praise him who in deadly battle
never shrank from foeman’s sword,
proof against all earthly weapon,
gave his life for Christ the Lord.

3. Who, when earthly war was over,
fought, but not for earth’s renown;
fought, and won a nobler glory,
won the martyr’s purple crown.

4. Help us when temptation presses,
we have still our crown to win,
help us when our soul is weary
fighting with the powers of sin.

5. Clothe us in thy shining armour,
place thy good sword in our hand;
teach us how to wield it, fighting
onward towards the heavenly land.

6. Onward, till, our striving over,
on life’s battlefield we fall,
resting then, but ever ready,
waiting for the angel’s call.

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