Vaughan Williams, Ralph: Valiant-for-Truth

Valiant-for-Truth (1940)

After this it was noised abroad that Mr Valiant-for-Truth was taken with a summons…;
and had this for a token that the summons was true,
‘That his pitcher was broken at the fountain’.
When he understood it, he called for his friends, and told them of it.
Then said he,
‘I am going to my Father’s,
and though with great difficulty I am got hither,
yet now I do not repent me of all the trouble I have been at to arrive where I am.
My sword, I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage,
and my courage and skill, to him that can get it.
My marks and scars I carry with me,
to be a witness for me, that I have fought his battles,
who now will be my rewarder.’
When the day that he must go hence, was come,
many accompanied him to the riverside,
into which, as he went, he said,
‘Death, where is thy sting?’
And as he went down deeper, he said,
‘Grave, where is thy victory?’
So he passed over,
and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.

Words: John Bunyan (1628–88)
Music: Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)