The standards of the King go forth
By Saint Venantius Fortunatus
The standards of the King go forth,
Shines out the blazoned mystery,
The Cross whereon the Lord of men
As man was hung.
Where he was wounded by a thrust,
The edge of that sharp lance,
That he might wash us from guilt;
Water and blood flowed down.
Fulfilled are now the prophecies
That David sang of, long ago,
Saying, The nations of the earth
God ruleth from a tree.
O Tree of beauty and of light,
With royal purple dyed,
Well wert though chosen then to bear
The sacred load.
Blessed, that on thy branches hung
The ransom of the world,
The balance of his holy flesh,
And hell despoiled.
O Victim slain for us and our salvation,
Opening the doors of light,
The warring hosts are set on our damnation,
Give us the strength to fight.