Five Mystical Songs

Song Cycle by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 - 1958)

Word count: 493

1. Easter [sung text checked 1 time]

Rise heart; thy Lord is risen. Sing his praise
Without delays,
Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise
With him may'st rise;
That, as his death calcined thee to dust,
His life may make thee gold, and much more, Just. 

Awake, my lute, and struggle for thy part
With all thy art. 
The cross taught all wood to resound his name
Who bore the same. 
His stretched sinews taught all strings, what key
Is best to celebrate this most high day. 

Consort both heart and lute, and twist a song
Pleasant and long:
Or since all music is but three parts vied,
And multiplied;
O let thy blessed Spirit bear a part,
And make up our defects with his sweet art.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Sílvia Pujalte Piñán) , "Pasqua", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

2. I got me flowers [sung text checked 1 time]

I got me flowers to strew thy way;
I got me boughs off many a tree:
But thou wast up by break of day,
And brought'st thy sweets along with thee. 

The Sun arising in the East,
Though he give light, and the East perfume;
If they should offer to contest
With thy arising, they presume. 

Can there be any day but this,
Though many suns to shine endeavour? 
We count three hundred, but we miss:
There is but one, and that one ever.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

3. Love bade me welcome [sung text checked 1 time]

Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin. 
But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lack'd anything. 

A guest, I answer'd, worthy to be here:
Love said, You shall be he. 
I the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on thee. 
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
Who made the eyes but I? 

Truth, Lord, but I have marr'd them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve. 
And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame? 
My dear, then I will serve. 
You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat:
So I did sit and eat.

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Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

4. The call [sung text checked 1 time]

Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life:
Such a Way, as gives us breath:
Such a Truth, as ends all strife:
Such a Life, as killeth death.

Come, My Light, my Feast, my Strength:
Such a Light, as shows a feast:
Such a Feast, as mends in length:
Such a Strength, as makes his guest.

Come, my Joy, my Love, my Heart:
Such a Joy, as none can move:
Such a Love, as none can part:
Such a Heart, as joys in love.

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

  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Mercedes Vivas) , "La llamada", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

5. Antiphon [sung text checked 1 time]

Let all the world in every corner sing,
My God and King!

The heavens are not too high,
His praise may thither fly:
The earth is not too low,
His praises there may grow.

Let all the world in every corner sing,
My God and King!

The church with Psalms must shout.
No door can keep them out:
But above all, the heart
Must bear the longest part.

Let all the world in every corner sing,
My God and King!

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]