Sacred Songs for Pantheists

Song Cycle by Robert E. Ward (b. 1917)

Word count: 394

1. Pied Beauty [sung text not yet checked]

Glory be to God for dappled things --
  For skies of couple-colour as a [brinded]1 cow;
    For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
  Landscape plotted and pieced -- fold, fallow, and [plough]2. 
    [And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.]3

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
  Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
    With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
        Praise him.

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

  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Monimuotoista kauneutta", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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1 sometimes modernized to "brindled"
2 Mitchell: "trim"
2 omitted by Mitchell

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Little things [sung text not yet checked]

Little things that run and quail
 [ ... ]

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3. Intoxication [sung text not yet checked]

I taste a liquor never brewed,
From tankards scooped in pearl;
Not all the vats upon the Rhine
Yield such an alcohol!

Inebriate of air am I,
And debauchee of dew,
Reeling, through endless summer days,
From inns of molten blue.

When landlords turn the drunken bee
Out of the foxglove's door,
When butterflies renounce their drams,
I shall but drink the more!

Till seraphs swing their snowy hats,
And saints to windows run,
To see the little tippler
Leaning against the sun!

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Heaven-Haven [sung text not yet checked]

     I have desired to go
        Where springs not fail,
To fields where flies no sharp and sided hail
     And a few lilies blow.

    And I have asked to be
        Where no storms come,
Where the green swell is in the havens dumb,
     And out of the swing of the sea.

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , subtitle: "Sie geht ins Kloster", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. God's Grandeur [sung text not yet checked]

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil 
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? 
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; 
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil 
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went 
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs -- 
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent   
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]