General William Booth Enters into Heaven

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by Vachel Lindsay –


Booth led boldly with his big bass drum–

(Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)

The saints smiled gravely and they said: “He’s come.”

(Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)

Walking lepers followed, rank on rank,
Lurching bravoes from the ditches dank,
Drabs from the alleyways and drug fiends pale–
Mind still passion-ridden, soul-powers frail:–
Vermin-eaten saints with mouldy breath,
Unwashed legions with the ways of Death–

(Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)


Every slum had sent its half-a-score
The round world over. Booth groaned for more.
Every banner that the wide world flies
Bloomed with glory and transcendent dyes.
Big-voiced lasses made their banjos bang,
Tranced, fanatical they shrieked and sang:–

(“Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?”)

Hallelujah! It was queer to see
Bull-necked convicts with that land make free.

Loons with trumpets blowed a blare, blare, blare,
On, on upward thro’ the golden air!

(Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)


Booth died blind and still by faith he trod,
Eyes still dazzled by the ways of God.
Booth led boldly, and he looked the chief,
Eagle countenance in sharp relief,
Beard a-flying, air of high command
Unabated in that holy land.


Jesus came from out the court-house door,
Stretched his hands above the passing poor.
Booth saw not, but led his queer ones there
Round and round the mighty court-house square.
Yet in an instant all that blear review
Marched on spotless, clad in raiment new.
The lame were straightened, withered limbs uncurled
And blind eyes open on a new, sweet world.


Drabs and vixens in a flash made whole!
Gone was the weasel-head, the snout, the jowl!
Sages and sibyls now, and athletes clean,
Rulers of empires, and of forests green!


The hosts were sandalled, and their wings were fire!

(Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)

But their noise played havoc with the angel-choir.

(Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)

O, shout Salvation! It was good to see
Kings and Princes by the Lamb made free.
The banjos rattled and the tambourines
Jing-jing-jinged in the hands of Queens.


And when Booth halted by the curb for prayer
He saw his Master thro’ the flag-filled air.
Christ came gently with a robe and crown
For Booth the soldier, while the throng knelt down.
He saw King Jesus. They were face to face,
And he knelt a-weeping in
that holy place.

(Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)

Now Thank We All Our God

Now Thank We All Our God

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Starting Early

Starting Early

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