BLEST band of noble Pioneers!
OldEngland’s strength and stay!
In brightest hope, in darkest fears,
In many a stormy day,
With faith in God,
They’ve bravely trod
Their hard, yet glorious, way.
Blest brotherhood of Patriots true!
“Unknowing and unknown;”
Like ancient heroes clad in steel,
They win, or die, alone,
Rather than yield,
Or quit the field,
Where foes and friends are strewn.
Seek ye the “lowly walks of life,”
Search o’er our hills and vales;
In many a humble cottage home
The “Light of Life” prevails.
Founded on rock,
They stand the shock,
When tempest drear assails.
Seek ‘mid the mansions of the great,
Through park and grassy dell;
Some Pioneers here ramble forth;
Some Patriots here may dwell.
A noble band,
They firmly stand –
Though few, they’ve conquered hell.
With stronger wings than eagles bear,
And far more piercing eyes –
For they can see beyond the sun,
And mount above the skies –
They soar above;
They feast on love;
And God-like deeds arise.
Blestband of Christ! true Pioneer
True Patriots, too, are ye.
Did he depart your native isle,
Oh! what would England be?
Who, then, would brave
The rolling wave
Of ruin and depravity?
Like Babylon, and Greece, and Rome,
When virtue’s sons had fled,
Some chosen band would soon arise,
Queen of the world, instead;
And Britain’s fame
And mighty name
Would hover o’er the dead.
Liverpool, July, 1862. ABE JONES.

Title:True Christians

Author:Abe Jones

Publication:Rochdale Pilot

Published in:Rochdale

Date:Aug 2 1862

Keywords:Labour, Nationalism


This devotional poem written by Abe Jones in Liverpool in 1862 is heavy in its use of metaphors and incorporates a strong patriotic element into its appeal for Christians to show their moral mettle. In this slightly mythological world-view Christians are endowed with seeming superpowers to combat the evils of the world, and one stanza may refer to the effects of the Cotton Famine when it urges the faithful to visit the cottages of the ‘lowly’, whom the ‘tempest drear assails’. – SR