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Six Songs of Faith

Word count: 602

Song Cycle by Charles Villiers Stanford, Sir (1852 - 1924)

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?. Strong Son of God [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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Strong Son of God, immortal Love,
    Whom we, that have not seen thy face,
    By faith, and faith alone, embrace,
Believing where we cannot prove;

Thine are these orbs of light and shade;
    Thou madest Life in man and brute;
    Thou madest Death; and lo, thy foot
Is on the skull which thou hast made.

Thou wilt not leave us in the dust:
    Thou madest man, he knows not why,
    He thinks he was not made to die;
And thou hast made him: thou art just.

Thou seemest human and divine,
    The highest, holiest manhood, thou:
    Our wills are ours, we know not how;
Our wills are ours, to make them thine.

Our little systems have their day;
    They have their day and cease to be:
    They are but broken lights of thee,
And thou, O Lord, art more than they.

We have but faith: we cannot know;
    For knowledge is of things we see;
    And yet we trust it comes from thee,
A beam in darkness: let it grow.

Let knowledge grow from more to more,
    But more of reverence in us dwell;
    That mind and soul, according well,
May make one music as before,

But vaster. We are fools and slight;
    We mock thee when we do not fear:
    But help thy foolish ones to bear;
Help thy vain worlds to bear thy light.

Forgive what seem'd my sin in me;
    What seem'd my worth since I began;
    For merit lives from man to man,
And not from man, O Lord, to thee.

Forgive my grief for one removed,
    Thy creature, whom I found so fair.
    I trust he lives in thee, and there
I find him worthier to be loved.

Forgive these wild and wandering cries,
    Confusions of a wasted youth;
    Forgive them where they fail in truth,
And in thy wisdom make me wise.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. To the Soul [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE FRE FRE GER

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Darest thou now O Soul,
Walk out with me toward the Unknown Region,
Where neither ground is for the feet
   nor any path to follow?

No map there, nor guide,
Nor voice sounding, nor touch of human hand,
Nor face with blooming flesh,
   nor lips, nor eyes, are in that land.

I know it not O Soul;
Nor dost thou -- all is a blank before us;
All waits, undream'd of, in that region,
   [that inaccessible land]1.

Till when the [ties loosen]2,
All but the ties eternal, Time and Space,
Nor darkness, gravitation, sense,
   nor any bounds, [bound]3 us.

Then we burst forth -- we float,
In Time and Space, O Soul, prepared for them;
Equal, equipt at last, -- 
   (O joy! O fruit of all!) them to fulfil, O Soul.


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Note: the indented lines have been broken off from the preceding lines so that parallel translations will be easier to see. This poem has five stanzas of three lines each.

1 W. Schuman: "the inaccessible land,/ The unknown region."
2 Bacon: "tie is loosened"
3 Bacon: "bounding"

Submitted by Ted Perry

5. Tears! tears! tears! [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Tears! tears! tears!
In the night, in solitude, tears,
On the white shore dripping, dripping, suck'd in by the sand,
Tears, not a star shining, all dark and desolate,
Moist tears from the eyes of a muffled head;
O who is that ghost? that form in the dark, with tears?
What shapeless lump is that, bent, crouch'd there on the sand?
Streaming tears, sobbing tears, throes, choked with wild cries;
O storm, embodied, rising, careering with swift steps along the beach!
O wild and dismal night storm, with wind - O howling and desperate!
O shade so sedate by day, with calm countenance and steady pace,
But away at night as you fly, none looking - O then the unloosen'd ocean,
Of tears! tears! tears!


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Submitted by Ted Perry

6. Joy, shipmate, joy [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): CAT FRE

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Alegra’t company de bord, alegra’t!", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Joy, shipmate, joy!
(Pleas'd to my soul at death I cry,)
Our life is closed, our life begins,
The long, long anchorage we leave,
The ship is clear at last, she leaps!
She swiftly courses from the shore,
Joy, shipmate, joy.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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