Hope of Israel*

Joseph L. Townsend**

Hope of Israel, Zion's army,
Children of the promised day,
See, the Chieftain signals onward,
And the battle's in array!

See the foe in countless numbers,
Marshaled in the ranks of sin;
Hope of Israel, on to battle,
Now the vict'ry we must win!

Strike for Zion, down with error;
Flash the sword above the foe;
Every stroke disarms a foeman,
Every step we conq'ring go.

Soon the battle will be over;
Every foe of truth be down;
Onward, onward, youth of Zion,
Thy reward the victor's crown.


Hope of Israel, rise in might
With the sword of truth and right;
Sound the warcry, "Watch and pray!"
Vanquish every foe today.

*Seeing themselves as a chosen people in conflict with earthly principalities and satanic powers, the Mormon people used militant images in numbers of their early hymns.

**Joseph L. Townsend (1849-1942), born in Pennsylvania, gained a good education at the University of Missouri and the Agricultural College of Missouri. In 1872, ill health sent him west to Salt Lake City. Six months later he joined the Church. He became principal of Payson High School. A business leader in Payson for a number of years, he also served as a teacher of penmanship at Brigham Young Academy at Provo and later as a manual training teacher in Salt Lake High School. He wrote a great number of hymns still sung by the Latter-day Saints.

Other 19th-century Mormon poetry

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