Thursday, 18 December 2008

Reepicheep's other song

Here's another song Reepicheep might sing. He Who would Valiant Be, by John Bunyan. Bunyan wrote these words while he was in imprisoned for 12 years. His crime? Being a Baptist.
You'll see the resonances with Pilgrim's Progress, Bunyan's famous allegory for the Christian life.

* * * * *

Modernised words:

He who would valiant be ’gainst all disaster,
Let him in constancy follow the Master.
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 foes shall stay his might; though he with giants fight,
He will make good his right to be a pilgrim.

Since, Lord, Thou dost defend us with Thy Spirit,
We know we at the end, shall life inherit.
Then fancies flee away! I’ll fear not what men say,
I’ll labor night and day to be a pilgrim.

* * * * *

The original text from Pilgrim’s Progress:

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.

Whoso 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,
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 labor night and day to be a pilgrim.

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