Camp of Israel, Rise and Go! — Choir
Composed by: Michael Smurthwaite
Voices: SATB – Choir
Lyrics: Eliza R. Snow
Description: Describes the resolve of the Latter-Day Saint people as they departed Nauvoo in the cold February of 1846 to cross the plains. Notes the commotion of the camp, the camp fires, the supper, the evening prayers of the saints, and posting of the guards. Shows the determination of the saints after the martyrdom to find a safe place in the west to worship God. Warns how the justice of God hangs over the nation but, regardless, all will be well.
Lo a mighty host of Jacob, Tented on the western shore
Of the noble Mississippi they had crossed to cross no more.
At the last day dawn of winter, Bound with frost and wrapped with now;
Hark! The cry is “Onward, onward! Camp of Israel, rise and go.”
All at once is life in motion, Trunks, and beds, and baggage fly;
Oxen yoked, and horses harnessed, Tents rolled up and passing by; Soon the carriage wheels are moving, Onward to a woodland dell,
Where at sunset all are quartered, Camp of Israel, all is well.
Thickly ’round the tents are clustered, Neigh’bring smokes together blend; Supper served, the hymns are chanted, And the evening prayers ascend.
Last of all the guards are stationed, Heavns! must guards be serving here?
Who would harm the house-less exiles? Camp of Israel, never fear.
Where is Freedom? Where is justice? Both have from this nation fled;
And the blood of martyred Prophets Must be answ’rd on it’s head! Therefore to your tents, O Jacob! Like our Father A’bram dwell; God will execute His purpose, Camp of Israel, all is well.