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To find the Western path

Set by George Dyson (1883 - 1964), "To find the Western path", from Quo Vadis: a Cycle of Poems, no. 9. [ sung text checked 1 time]

Note: this setting is made up of several separate texts.

To find the Western path,
Right thro' the Gates of Wrath
I urge my way;
Sweet Mercy leads me on
With soft repentant moan:
I see the break of day.

The war of swords and spears,
Melted by dewy tears,
Exhales on high;
The Sun is freed from fears,
And with soft grateful tears
Ascends the sky.


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

  • RUS Russian (Русский) [singable] (Dmitri Smirnov) , copyright © 1981, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

The One remains, the many change and pass;
Heaven's light forever shines, Earth's shadows fly;
Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass,
Stains the white radiance of Eternity,
Until Death tramples it to fragments. -- Die,
If thou wouldst be with [that]1 which thou dost seek! 
Follow where all is fled! -- [Rome's azure sky,
Flowers, ruins, statues, music, words, are weak
The glory they transfuse with fitting truth to speak.]2

Why linger, why turn back, why shrink, my Heart?
[Thy hopes are gone before: from all things here
They have departed; thou shouldst now depart!
A light is passed from the revolving year,
And man, and woman; and what still is dear
Attracts to crush, repels to make thee wither.
The soft sky smiles,--the low wind whispers near:
'Tis Adonais calls! oh, hasten thither,
No more let Life divide what Death can join together.]2

That Light whose smile kindles the Universe,
[That Beauty in which all things work and move,
That Benediction which the eclipsing Curse
Of birth can quench not, that sustaining Love
Which through the web of being blindly wove
By man and beast and earth and air and sea,
Burns bright or dim, as each are mirrors of
The fire for which all thirst, now beams on me,]3
Consuming the last clouds of cold mortality.

The breath whose might I have invoked in song
Descends on me; my spirit's bark is driven
Far from the shore, far from the trembling throng
Whose sails were never to the tempest given;
The massy earth and spherèd skies are riven!
I am borne darkly, fearfully, afar;
Whilst burning through the inmost veil of Heaven,
[The soul of Adonais, like]2 a star,
Beacons from the abode where the Eternal are.


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View original text (without footnotes)
1 Dyson: "those"
2 omitted by Dyson.
3 Dyson: "That beauty which birth can quench not,/ That sustaining love, now beams on me."

Submitted by Harry Joelson

   Love, from its awful throne of patient power
In the wise heart, from the last giddy hour
  Of dread endurance, from the slippery, steep,
And narrow verge of crag-like agony, springs
And folds over the world its healing wings.
Gentleness, Virtue, Wisdom, and Endurance,
These are the seals of that most firm assurance
  Which bars the pit over Destruction's strength;
[And if, with infirm hand, Eternity,
Mother of many acts and hours, should free
  The serpent that would clasp her with his length;]1
These are the spells by which to [reassume]2 
An empire o'er the disentangled doom.

To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
  To defy Power, which seems omnipotent;
[To love, and bear; to hope till Hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates;]3
  Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent;
This[, like thy glory, Titan,]1 is to be
Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free;
This is alone Life, Joy, Empire, and Victory.


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View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Dyson and Vaughan Williams in Symphony #7
2 Dyson: "assume"
3 omitted by Vaughan Williams in Symphony #7

Submitted by Ahmed E. Ismail and Harry Joelson

    Holy is the True Light, and passing wonderful,
lending radiance to them that endured in the heat
of [the]1 conflict, from Christ they inherit a home of
unfading splendour, wherein they rejoice with
[gladness evermore]2. [Alleluia!]1


Based on

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Dyson, Near.
2 Dyson: "gladness for evermore"

Submitted by Harry Joelson