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Four Sacred Songs

Song Cycle by John Mitchell (b. 1941)


1. A Daily Offering [
 text verified 
]

Language: English

Authorship


The dappled dieaway cheek and the wimpled lip,
The goldwisp, the airy grey eye, all in fellowship
This, all this beauty blooming,
This, all this freshness fuming,
Give God while worth consuming.
Both thought and thew now bolder
And told by Nature:  Tower;
Head, heart, hand, heel, and shoulder
That beat and breathe in power

This pride of prime's enjoyment
Take as for tool, not toy meant
And hold at Christ's employment.
The vault and scope and schooling
And mastery in the mind,
In silk-ash kept from cooling
And ripest under rind
What life half lifts the latch of
What hell stalks toward the snatch of
Your offering, with dispatch of.

Submitted by Victoria Brago


2. Pied Beauty [
 text verified 
]

Language: English
Translation(s): FIN

Authorship

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

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

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.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 sometimes modernized to "brindled"
2 Mitchell: "trim"
2 omitted by Mitchell


3. Thee God, I come from [
 text verified 
]

Language: English

Authorship

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Thee, God, I come from, to thee go,
All day long I like fountain flow
From thy hand out, swayed about
Motelike in thy mighty glow.

What I know of thee I bless,
As acknowledging thy stress
On my being and as seeing
Something of thy holiness.

Once I turned from thee and hid,
Bound on what thou hadst forbid;
Sow the wind I would; I sinned;
I repent of what I did.

Bad I am, but yet thy child.
Father, be thou reconciled,
Spare thou me, since I see
With thy might that thou art mild.

I have life before me still
And thy purpose to fulfill;
Yea a debt to pay thee yet:
Help me, sir, and so I will.

But thou bidst, and just thou art,
Me shew mercy from my heart
Towards my brother, every other
Man my mate and counterpart.

Submitted by Victoria Brago


4. The windhover [
 text verified 
]

Language: English
Translation(s): FIN

Authorship

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

    * FIN Finnish (Erkki Pullinen) , "Tuulihaukka: Omistettu Herrallemme Kristukselle", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

I caught this morning morning's minion, kingdom of daylight's dauphin,
  dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding of the rolling level
  underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
  As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bowbend: the hurl and gliding
  Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird, -- the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
  Buckle!  AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: sheer plod makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
  Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold vermillion.

Submitted by Victoria Brago


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