Hear Thou, O Lord! We pray,
And help us on our way
Through the wide world;
Send us prosperity,
Remove adversity,
Raise us from poverty –
Cheer us, we pray.
Oh, touch the hearts of men,
And speak and say to them,
“Oh help the poor!
Give them bread to eat
To raise them on their feet,
For there’s enough of wheat
In this our land.”
Oh, make them feel and know
That Thou canst overthrow
All their proud wealth;
Make them, whate’er they be,
Whether on land or sea,
To listen unto Thee,
And help the poor.
Lord! If they will not hear,
Oh, make them quake with fear –
Hear, Thou Most High!
Oh, break their hearts of stone,
And make them sigh and groan
For those who have no home,
Nor bread to eat.
Lord! do Thou clear the way,
And may we live each day,
While here on earth;
Do Thou stretch forth Thine hand,
O’er North and Southern land –
Oh, make this war to stand –
Grant Thou our prayer.
Blackburn, Sept. 27, 1862. THOMAS LUMB.

Title:A Song for the Poor

Author:Thomas Lumb

Publication:The Bolton Chronicle

Published in:Bolton

Date:4th October 1862

Keywords:america, charity, poverty, religion, war


This poem/song by Thomas Lumb is dated September 27th 1862, a week before its publication, and it was written in Blackburn. Composed to be sung to the tune of the national anthem, ‘God Save the Queen’, it refers specifically to the Cotton Famine and calls on God to end the American Civil War. It begins with a call for charity, and asks God to encourage those with ‘proud wealth’ to share. With a hint of radicalism the piece notes that ‘there’s enough of wheat / In this our land’. – SR