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Poetry

Some people have been doing poetry recently. I'm not much of a poetry person, but here's a hymn that I like even without a tune. I don't know if Wesley ever gave it a real name -- I just call it "Idumea" after the tune usually used with it. It's the hymn that underscores the battle scene in "Cold Mountain," among other things.

And am I born to die?
To lay this body down!
And must my trembling spirit fly
Into a world unknown?

A land of deepest shade,
Unpierced by human thought;
The dreary regions of the dead,
Where all things are forgot!

Soon as from earth I go,
What will become of me?
Eternal happiness or woe
Must then my portion be!

Waked by the trumpet sound,
I from my grave shall rise;
And see the Judge with glory crowned,
And see the flaming skies!
-- Charles Wesley, 1763

Comments

bodkin_ra
Sep. 22nd, 2005 05:10 am (UTC)
Yes. I believe the original version of the hymn is actually taken from Pilgrim's Progress. (Discovered when looking for the words.)
frenchpony
Sep. 22nd, 2005 11:46 am (UTC)
http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/h/w/hwhowvbe.htm

That has a MIDI file of a tune used for a more regular metrical setting of the poetry. But I have to say, the original version grabbed me, particular meter and all. I fitted a little tune to the words, and all it needs is a bit of polishing and then harmonization. I guess you could call it the musical version of a plotbunny. I shall have to grab a practice room after work today and write the tune down. In B flat, I think.
bodkin_ra
Sep. 22nd, 2005 05:11 pm (UTC)
When I was little we used to sing this at school assembly. (All UK schools used to have Christian assembly.) The hymn books we used had both versions of the words written in them - but I used to sing the hobgoblin version - to the usual tune. It was just so much more imaginative than the modern one!

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