Once to every man and nation (Crys Armbrust)

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Editor: Crys Armbrust (submitted 2013-08-16).   Score information: Letter, 5 pages, 454 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Alternate performance score included for unison or solo voice with bass obbligato accompaniment by piano, organ, cello or other suitable instrument.

General Information

Title: Once to every man and nation
Composer: Crys Armbrust
Tune: Port Wing
Lyricist: James Russell Lowellcreate page

Number of voices: 5vv or unison   Voicings: SSATB and Unison
Genre: SacredShape Notes

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 2006

Description: Original musical setting of the 1845 text by James Russell Lowell.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God’s new Messiah, offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever, ’twixt that darkness and that light.

Then to side with truth is noble, when we share her wretched crust,
Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and ’tis prosperous to be just;
Then it is the brave man chooses while the coward stands aside,
Till the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied.

By the light of burning martyrs, Jesus bleeding feet I track,
Toiling up new Calvaries ever with the cross that turns not back;
New occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth,
They must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth.

Though the cause of evil prosper, yet the truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong;
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.