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Five Holy Songs

Word count: 394

Song Cycle by Andrew Downes (b. 1950)

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1. I sing the progress of a deathless soul [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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I sing the progress of a deathless soul,
Whom Fate, with God made, but doth not control,
Plac'd in most shapes; all times before the law
Yoked us, and when, and since, in this I sing.

And the great world to his aged evening;
From infant morn, through manly noon I draw.
What the gold Chaldee, of silver Persian saw,
Greek brass, or Roman iron, is in this one;
A work t'outwear Seths pillars, brick and stone,
And (holy writs excepted) made to yield to none.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Spit in my face, ye Jews [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Spit in my face, ye Jews, and pierce my side,
Buffet, and scoff, scourge, and crucify me,
For I have sinn'd, and sinne', and only He,
Who could do no iniquity, hath died.
But by my death can not be satisfied
My sins, which pass the Jews' impiety.
They kill'd once an inglorious man, but I
Crucify him daily, being now glorified.
O let me then His strange love still admire ;
Kings pardon, but He bore our punishment ;
And Jacob came clothed in vile harsh attire,
But to supplant, and with gainful intent ;
God clothed Himself in vile man's flesh, that so
He might be weak enough to suffer woe.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. The virgins [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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 The cold white snowie Nunnery, 
(Which, as thy mother, their high Abbesse, sent 
    Their bodies back again to thee, 
As thou hadst lent them, clean and innocent), 
            Though they have not obtain'd of thee, 
            That or thy Church, or I, 
Should keep, as they, our first integrity; 
Divorce thou sin in us, or bid it die, 
And call chaste widowhead1 Virginity.


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1 or "widowhood".

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. When senses, which thy soldiers are [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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 When senses, which thy soldiers are,
 We arm against thee, and they fight for sin,
 When want, sent but to tame, doth war
 And work despair a breach to enter in,
 When plenty, God's image and seal,
 Makes us idolatrous,
 And love it, not him, whom it should reveal,
 When we are moved to seem religious
 Only to vent wit, Lord deliver us.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Hear us, O Hear us, Lord [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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    Hear us, O hear us Lord; to thee
A sinner is more music, when he prays, 
    Than spheres', or angels' praises be, 
In panegyric alleluias;
        Hear us, for till Thou hear us, Lord 
        We know not what to say; 
Thine ear to our sighs, tears, thoughts, gives voice and word; 
O Thou who Satan heard'st in Job's sick day, 
Hear Thyself now, for Thou in us dost pray.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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