Pilgrim's Progress

Song Cycle by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 - 1958)

Word count: 879

1. Watchful's Song [sung text checked 1 time]

Into thy hands, O lord, into thy hands, O Lord,
I commend my spirit, into thy hands, O Lord.
Except the Lord keep the house the watchman waketh but in vain.
The Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep peace:
the whole earth is at rest and is quiet.
Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit,
into thy hands, O Lord.
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh even from the Lord
who hath made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved.
He that keepeth thee shall not sleep.
Behold, he that keepeth thee shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord himself is my keeper, he shall preserve thee from all evil:
yea, it is even he that shall keep thy soul from this time forth
forevermore:
from this time forth forevermore.
Into thy hands I commend my spirit, into thy hands, O Lord.

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Researcher for this text: Barbara Miller

2. The Song of the Pilgrims [sung text checked 1 time]

Who would true valour see,
Let him come hither;
One here will constant be
Come wind, come weather.

There's no discouragement
Shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent
To be a Pilgrim.

Who so beset him round
With dismal stories,
Do but themselves confound,
His strength the more is.

No lion can him fright,
He'll with a giant fight,
But he will have a right
To be a Pilgrim.

Hobgoblin, nor foul fiend
Can daunt his spirit;
He knows he at the end
Shall life inherit.

Then fancies fly away,
He'll fear not what men say,
He'll labour night and day
To be a pilgrim.

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Researcher for this text: Barbara Miller

3. The Pilgrim's Psalm [sung text checked 1 time]

I will put on the whole arm our of light 
that I may be able to stand in the evil day.
The shield of faith, the helmet of salvation,
the breastplate of righteousness, the sword of the spirit.
God girdeth me with strength of war and maketh my way perfect.
Yea, I will smite mine enemies, they shall not be able to stand, 
but fall under my feet.
Blest be the Lord my strength that teacheth my hands 
to war and my fingers to fight,
my hope and my fortress, my castle and my deliverer,
my defence in whom I trust.
I will not be afraid of the terror by night, 
nor for the arrow that flieth by day,
for thou, Lord art my hope,
Thou hast set my house of defence very high.
I will go forward valiant in fight, 
and put to flight the armies of evil.
He that overcometh shall inherit all things.

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Researcher for this text: Barbara Miller

4. The Song of the Leaves of Life and the Water of Life [sung text checked 1 time]

Unto him that overcometh shall be given of the tree of Life
which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.
On either side of the river groweth the Tree of Life,
the Leaves of the Tree are for thy healing.
In the midst of that fair City flows the river of Water of Life clear as
crystal
Who so will, let him take of the Water of Life freely.
Who so drinketh of this water shall never thirst.
Take thou the Leaves of the Tree of Life.
So shalt thou enter in through the Gates of the City.

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Researcher for this text: Barbara Miller

5. The Song of Vanity Fair [sung text checked 1 time]

Come and buy from our booths all the pleasures of man
 [ ... ]

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6. The Woodcutter's Song [sung text checked 1 time]

He that is down [needs]1 fear no fall,
  He that is low, no pride;
He that is humble, ever shall
  Have God to be his Guide.

I am content with what I have,
  Little be it or much;
And, Lord, contentment still I crave,
  Because Thou savest such.

Fullness to such a burden is,
  That go on pilgrimage;
Here little, and hereafter bliss,
  Is best from age to age.

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1 Edmunds, Vaughan Williams: "need"

Research team for this text: Barbara Miller , Garrett Medlock [Guest Editor]

7. The Bird's Song [sung text checked 1 time]

The Lord is my shepherd: therefore can I lack nothing.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

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Researcher for this text: Barbara Miller