THE ROYAL BANNERS FORWARD GO
The royal banners forward go,
the cross shines forth in mystic glow,
where he in flesh, our flesh who made,
our sentence bore, our ransom paid.
There whilst he hung, his sacred side
by soldier’s spear was open’d wide,
to cleanse us in the precious flood
of waters mingled with his blood.
Fulfill’d is now what David told
in true prophetic song of old,
how God the heathen’s king should be;
for God is reigning from the tree.
O tree of glory, tree most fair,
ordain’d those holy limbs to bear,
how bright in purple robe it stood,
the purple of a saviour’s blood!
Upon its arms, like balance true,
he weigh’d the price for sinners due,
the price which none but he could pay:
and spoil’d the spoiler of his prey.
To thee, eternal Three in One,
let homage meet by all be done,
as by the cross thou dost restore,
so rule and guide us evermore.
(Venantius Fortunatus 530-609 – Tr. John M. Neale 1818-1866)