Twelve Thousand Stand On Gilead

Twelve thousand stand on Gilead,
Yea, twice twelve thousand say!
They flocked at silver trumpet’s call,
All men of Israel they.
But faithful Gideon cried aloud,
“If craven heart there be,
Return, faint-hearted, to your tents,
Not yours the victory!”

Ten thousand stand at Gilead!
No craven hearts are these;
But will they speed at duty’s call,
Or love they slothful ease?
In weariness, in watchings oft,
The soldier’s lot must stand:
Can these ten thousand hardness bear,
And march at God’s command?

See! Harod’s sparkling waters
Flow flashing thro’ the plain!
The Lord will try His warriors
Again and yet again.
Down to the margin of the stream
The thirsting soldiers press,
Their parched lips approach the stream,
The leaping torrent kiss.

Some yield to weariness and thirst,
And, kneeling on the sod,
Forget awhile the trumpet’s call,
Their country and their God!
Some only bend in manly grace
With hand dipped in the ford,
And martial stand, the sword in hand,
To hearken Gideon’s word.

“By these, by these,” cried Gideon,
“The Lord shall Israel save;
By proven men and chosen,
Three hundred warriors brave;
Lest Israel’s host should vaunt itself,
And dream that that power and might,
Or prudence of the wise and skilled,
Had conquered in the fight.”

Three hundred stand on Gilead,
Obedient men-but lo!
More than a hundred thousand
In Midian’s tents below!
What weapons for the warfare?
A trumpet and a light!
The shout of a king among them
Ringing thro’ Midian’s night!

O Lord, arise! Thy warriors choose,
As erst at Harod’s well,
And prove them at the waters-
Thy faithful Israel!
Swift as the eagle may they bear
Love’s embassy abroad!
Send out Thy sons of valor
To war, the wars of God!

They will not pause, those eager souls,
Where pleasure’s waves glide by,
Nor, heedless of the Master’s call,
In easeful languor lie.
They hear the call of nations,
The Master’s high command,
And pure resolve and zeal inspire
The missionary band.

O flash the torch of truth athwart
The gloom of heathen night!
And cheer ye with a song of faith,
And trumpet sound of might!
The battle is not yours, but God’s;
Ring out the battle cry!
The sword of God and Gideon
Shall bring the victory!