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String Quintet

Word count: 3839

by Alistair Hinton (b. 1950)

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5a. I have seen the vision [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

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I have seen the vision, 
The vision of mine own revealing itself, 
Coming out from within me.


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Confirmed with Rabindranath Tagore, The Religion of Man, “The Man of My Heart,” New York, The MacMillan Company, 1931, page 115.


Submitted by Poom Pipatjarasgit [Guest Editor]

5b. Tapfere sind solche, die Taten vollbringen [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: German (Deutsch)

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Tapfere sind solche, die Taten vollbringen
 [ ... ]


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5c. Du sollst dir kein Bild machen! [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: German (Deutsch)

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Du sollst dir kein Bild machen!
 [ ... ]


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5d. The church bells toll a melancholy round [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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The church bells toll a melancholy [round]1,
Calling the people to some other prayers,
Some other gloominess, more dreadful cares,
More hearkening to the sermon's horrid sound.
Surely the mind of man is closely bound
In some black spell; seeing that each one tears
Himself from fireside joys, and Lydian airs,
And converse high of those with glory crown'd.
Still, still they toll, and I should feel a damp,--
A chill as from a tomb, did I not know
That they are dying like an outburnt lamp;
That 'tis their sighing, wailing ere they go
Into oblivion; -- that fresh flowers will grow,
And many glories of immortal stamp.


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1 A. Hinton: "sound"

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5e. My Soul preached to me [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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My Soul preached to me
and taught me to love that which the people abhor,
and befriend him [whom]1 they revile.


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1 Hinton: "who"

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5g. My soul preached to me and said, "Do not be delighted [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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My soul preached to me and said, "Do not be delighted 
because of praise, [and do not be distressed 
because of blame.]1"


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1 omitted by Hinton

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5h. For what is glory but the blaze of fame [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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For what is glory but the blaze of fame,
The people's praise, if always
praise unmixed?
And what the people but a herd confused,
A miscellaneous
rabble, who extol
Things vulgar, and, well weighed, scarce worth the praise?
They praise and they admire they know not what,
And know not whom, but as one
leads the other;
And what delight to be by such extolled,
To live upon their
tongues, and be their talk?
Of whom to be dispraised were no small praise—
His lot who dares be singularly good.
The intelligent among them and the wise
Are few, and glory scarce of few is raised.


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5i. Consider well your neighbour, what an imbecile he is [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Consider well your neighbour, what an imbecile he is. 
Then ask yourself whether it be worth while paying any attention 
to what he thinks of you. Life is too short, and death 
the end of all things. Life must be lived, not endured.
[...]
Therefore the sage will go his way, prepared to find 
himself growing ever more out of sympathy with vulgar 
trends of opinion, [for such is the inevitable development 
of thoughtful and self-respecting minds.]1 
He scorns to make proselytes among his fellows: 
they are not worth it. He has better things to do. 
While others nurse their griefs, he nurses his joy. 
He endeavours to find himself at no matter what cost, 
and to be true to that self when found — a worthy and
ample occupation for a life-time.


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Confirmed with Norman Douglas, Alone, excerpts, New York, Robert M. McBride & Company, 1922, pages 136-137.

Note: these are prose selections. The line breaks are arbitrary.

1 omitted by Hinton.
Submitted by Poom Pipatjarasgit [Guest Editor]

5j. Music is ... a way to enlightenment to the spirit [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Music is ... a way to enlightenment to the spirit...
Only thus ... can all its beauty enter into the soul,
Giving glimpses of Nirvana...

[...]

Let us take refuge in Nirvana and leave it at that.


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Excerpts from Around Music, chapters 28 and 35.


Submitted by Poom Pipatjarasgit [Guest Editor]

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5k. Hence vain deluding Joys [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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[ ... ]
And as I wake, sweet music breathe Above, about, or underneath, Sent by some spirit to mortals good, Or th' unseen Genius of the wood.
[ ... ]

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Note: This poem has 176 lines.


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5l. Whither, again, am I to turn my eyes to sing Thy praise [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English after the Greek (Ελληνικά)

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Whither, again, am I to turn my eyes to sing Thy praise; 
above, below, within, without?
There is no way, no place [is there] about Thee, 
nor any other thing of things that are.
All [are] in Thee; all [are] from Thee, 
O Thou who givest all and takest naught, 
[for Thou hast all and naught is there Thou hast not.]1

[...]

For Thou art all, and there is nothing else with Thou art not.


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Confirmed with G. R. S. Mead, Thrice-Greatest Hermes, Volume II, excerpt from “Though Unmanifest God Is Most Manifest,” London, The Theosophical Publishing Society, 1906, page 105. Note: square brackets are used in the original text, except where indicated by footnotes.

1 omitted by A. Hinton.

Submitted by Poom Pipatjarasgit [Guest Editor]

5m. The eternal Dream [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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The eternal Dream
  is borne on the wings of ageless Light
  that rends the veil of the vague
    and goes across Time
  weaving ceaseless patterns of Being.

The mystery remains dumb,
  the meaning of this pilgrimage,
  the endless adventure of existence—
whose rush along the sky
  flames up into innumerable rings of paths,
till at last knowledge gleams out from the dusk
    in the infinity of human spirit,
  and in the dim lighted dawn
  she speechlessly gazes through the break in the mist
    at the vision of Life and [of]1 Love
  [rising]2 from the tumult of profound pain and joy.


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Confirmed with Rabindranath Tagore, The Religion of Man, New York, The MacMillan Company, 1931, page 10.

1 omitted by Hinton.
2 Hinton: "emerging"

Submitted by Poom Pipatjarasgit [Guest Editor]

5n. Divine Music! [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Divine Music!
Daughter of the Soul of Love

Vase of bitterness and of
Love

Dream of the human heart, fruit
of sorrow

Flower of joy, fragrance and
bloom of feeling

Tongue of lovers, revealer of
secrets

Mother of the tears of hidden love

Inspirer of poets, [composers,
architects]1

Unity of thoughts within fragments
of words

Designer of love out of beauty
Wine of the exulting heart in
a world of dreams

Heartener of warriors, and strengthener
of souls
Ocean of mercy and sea of tenderness

O Music
In your depths we deposit our hearts
and souls
Thou hast taught us to see with our
ears
And hear with our hearts.


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Confirmed with A Second Treasury of Kahlil Gibran, excerpt from Of Music.

1 A. Hinton: "composers,/ and architects"

Submitted by Poom Pipatjarasgit [Guest Editor]

5o. Love can give no idea of Music [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English after the French (Français)

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Love can give no idea of Music
Music can give an idea of Love
Why separate them?
They are the two wings of the soul.


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5p. O Thou Love of unsurpassable sweetness, help Thou me to taste sweetness of Thy name [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English after the Tamil (தமிழ்)

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O Thou Love of unsurpassable sweetness, help Thou me to taste sweetness of Thy name.
The more I taste the sweetness of Thy name the greater is my thirst for Thee.
Thou art the Fountain of pure nectar.
He who tastes of it makes himself immortal and wise.
The darkness of ignorance and the madness of deceptive things leave him.
The resplendent light of the bright lamp of self-knowledge burns in his soul with all its brilliance.
Lord, let Thy pure divine light of love and wisdom consume me now and for ever.


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Confirmed with S. P. Y. Surendranath Voegeli-Arya, Temple Chimes, page 71.

Verse 8 of “Thou didst enter into my hear of thine own accord” from 33 Poems of St. Thayumanavar
Submitted by Poom Pipatjarasgit [Guest Editor]

5q. Now, all is finished [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Now, all is finished.
Nothing now remains,
only the tears bequeathed to us by Nature,
and the cry from the heart
when no longer can man
endure his pain.
To me, above all,
she gave melody and words
so that I could sing of my deepest sorrow.
Others may be dumb in their sufferings,
But God gave me a gift to tell of mine.


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5r. Which, hark, I have dared and done, for my resting-place is found [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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[ ... ]
[Which, hark, I have dared and done,]1 for my resting-place is found, The C Major of this life: so, now I will try to sleep.

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Note: the poem has 96 lines.

1 omitted by Hinton.

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5s. For ever am I liberated [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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For ever [am I]1 liberated,
This is the last time I am born,
No new existence waits for me.


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Note: this is a text that appears in many books about Buddhism. Confirmed with Ven. Nyanatiloka, Buddhist Dictionary: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines, fifth revised edition, Buddhist Publication Society, Sri Lanka, 2004, page 158.

1 Hinton: "I am"

Submitted by Poom Pipatjarasgit [Guest Editor]

5t. Those men of serene mind enter into the All, having realized [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English after the Sanskrit Transliteration

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Those men of serene mind enter into the All, having realized
and being everywhere in union with the omnipresent spirit.


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5u. Concealed in selflessness, One Being was [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English after the Persian (Farsi)

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[ ... ]
[Concealed in selflessness,]1 One Being was Exempt from ‘I-’ or ‘Thou-’ ness, and apart From all duality; Beauty Supreme,
[ ... ]

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Confirmed with Edward Browne, A Year amongst the Persians: Impressions as to the Life, Character, & Thought of the People of Persia Received during Twelve Months' Residence in That Country in the Years 1887-1888, London, Adam and Charles Black, 1893, pages 137-139. Note: This is an excerpt from the eleventh section of the poem. It is unknown if Browne wrote a complete translation of Yūsuf u Zulaykhā or if this is the only excerpt he translated.

1 omitted by A. Hinton.
2 Some additional lines appear in a reprinted translation published in The Persian Mystics by F. Hadland Davis, but not in A Year amongst the Persians. They were not set to music by K. Sorabji, and they are as follows:
The Cherubim, enraptured, sought for songs
Of praise. The spirits who explore the depths
Of boundless seas, wherein the heavens swim
Like some small boat, cried with one
mighty voice, “Praise to the Lord of all the universe!”
3 omitted by K. Sorabji.

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