Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Sabbath Poetry: Dallán Forgaill

This hymn, translated into English only in the last century, from a millennium-old Irish monastic chant, is a well-known favorite. Non-liturgical by upbringing, I was actually introduced to it by way of David Bazan's stripped-down version back during his Pedro the Lion days. In any case, for newcomers and old fans alike, enjoy.

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Be Thou My Vision

By Dallán Forgaill (translated by Mary Elizabeth Byrne, versified by Eleanor Hull)

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

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