Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I just discovered this music from the UK and I love it: I Vow to Thee, my Country


I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above, Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love; The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test, That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best; The love that never falters, the love that pays the price, The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice. And there's another country, I've heard of long ago, Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know; We may not count her armies, we may not see her King; Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering; And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase, And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace. The final line of the second verse is based on Proverbs 3:17, "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace" (KJV), in the context of which the feminine pronoun refers to Wisdom. The original first verse of Spring-Rice's poem Urbs Dei / The Two Father Lands (1908-1912), never set to music, was as follows: I heard my country calling, away across the sea, Across the waste of waters, she calls and calls to me. Her sword is girded at her side, her helmet on her head, And around her feet are lying the dying and the dead; I hear the noise of battle, the thunder of her guns; I haste to thee, my mother, a son among thy sons.

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