The Royal Banners Forward Go

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Melody - "Vexilla Regis", John Hampton, 1875; Seq. by Richard Jordan
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Venantius Fortunatus, 569

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;

2. Where deep for us the spear was dyed,
Life's torrent rushing from His side.
To wash us in that precious flood
Where mingled water flowed and blood.

3. Fulfilled is all that David told
In true prophetic song of old;
Amidst the nations, God, saith he,
Hath reigned and triumphed from the tree.

4. O Tree of beauty, Tree of light,
O Tree with royal purple dight;
Elect, on whose triumphal breast
Those holy limbs should find their rest;

5. On whose dear arms, so widely flung,
The weight of this world's ransom hung
The price of humankind to pay
And spoil the spoiler of his prey.

6. O Cross, our one reliance, hail!
So may thy power with us avail
To give new virtue to the saint
And pardon to the penitent.

7. To Thee, eternal Three in One,
Let homage meet by all be done
Whom by the cross Thou dost restore,
Preserve, and govern evermore.

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