Fling wide the sacred city gates,
Wide on the open air;
A higher Conqueror awaits
Than he whose name they bear.
He comes not in the strength of war,
He comes not in its pride;
No banners are around his car,
No trumpets at his side.
Not in the midst of armed bands
The Christian Chief appears,
No swords are in his followers' hands,
They strive with prayers and tears.
For faint and weak those followers seem,
Yet mighty is their voice:
The Ganges' old and holy stream
Will in the depths rejoice
Low is the voice with which they plead—
A voice of peace and love;
Peaceful and loving is the creed
Whose emblem is the dove.
Far in the east a star arose,
And with its rising brought
God's own appointed hour to those
By whom it had been sought.
And still that guiding star hath shone
O'er all its light.hath won;
And it will still keep shining on
Until its work be done.
A glorious ending at its birth
Was to that planet given:
For never will it set on earth
Till earth is lost in heaven.
Fling wide the ancient city's gates,
The hours of night are past,
And Christ, the Conqueror, awaits
Earth's holiest and her last.
Related Victorian Material Written Several Decades after the Poem
- Hurdwar (from “The Religions of India” in the 1857 Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine
- Hurdwar and the Ganges Canal from Blackie’s Imperial Gazetteer (1856)
- British India (homepage)
Blackie, Walker Graham. The Imperial Gazetteer: A General Dictionary of Geography, Physical, Political, Statistical and Descriptive. 4 vols. London: Blackie & Son, 1856. Internet Archive. Inline version of a copy in the University of California Library. Web. 7 November 2018.
Landon, Latitia E. The Poetical Works of Miss Landon. Philadelphia: E.L. Cary and A. Hart, 1839. Hathi Trust Digital Library version of a copy in the New York Public Library. Web. 17 July 2020.
Last modified 18 July 2020