by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882)
Translation by Harry Arbuthnot Acworth (1849 - 1933)

Language: English  after the English 
Bass Recit.
 In the convent of Drontheim
 Knelt Astrid, the Abbess,
 At midnight, adoring.
 She heard in the silence
 The voice of one speaking
 Without in the darkness,
 Now louder, now nearer,
 Now lost in the distance.

Soli and Chorus.
 "It is accepted,
 The angry defiance,
 The challenge of battle!
 It is accepted,
 But not with the weapons
 Of war that thou wieldest!

 "Cross against corslet,
 Love against hatred,
 Peace-cry for war-cry!
 Patience is powerful;
 He that o'ercometh
 Hath power o'er the nations!

Chorus (unaccompanied).

 "As torrents in summer,
 Half-dried in their channels,
 Suddenly rise, though the
 Sky is still cloudless,
 For rain has been falling
 Far off at their fountains;

 "So hearts that are fainting
 Grow full to o'erflowing,
 And they that behold it
 Marvel, and know not
 That God at their fountains
 Far off has been raining!

Soli and Chorus.
 "Stronger then steel
 Is the sword of the Spirit;
 Swifter than arrows
 The light of the truth is,
 Greater than anger
 Is love, and subdueth!

 "The dawn is not distant,
 Nor is the night starless;
 Love is eternal!
 God is still God, and
 His faith shall not fail us;
 Christ is eternal! "

A strain of music ends the tale,
A low, monotonous, funeral wail,
That with its cadence, wild and sweet,
Makes the long Saga more complete.


Based on

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Harold Ryan

This text was added to the website: 2009-10-03
Line count: 52
Word count: 220