I vow to thee, my country (Gustav Holst)

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  • (Posted 2011-12-28)   CPDL #24098:   
Editor: Paul Hayward (submitted 2011-08-05).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 1 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: An SATB choral version of the popular hymn.
  • CPDL #10641:       
Editor: John Henry Fowler (submitted 2006-01-07).   Score information: Letter, 2 pages, 20 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Unison version with organ/piano accompaniment.

General Information

Title: I vow to thee, my country
Tune Name: Thaxted
Composer: Gustav Holst
Lyricist: Ce­cil Spring-Ricecreate page, 1918

Number of voices: 1 or 4vv   Voicings: Unison or SATB
Genre: SacredHymn

Language: English
Instruments: Organ, piano or a cappella

Published: 1918

Description: The tune comes from the popular orchestral suite The Planets, specifically the movement Jupiter, the Bringer of Jolity. It is named after the town in Essex. Diana, Prin­cess of Wales re­quest­ed this hymn be sung at her wed­ding, say­ing it had "al­ways been a favourite since school­days." To complete the great circle it was also sung at her fun­er­al in 1997.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

I vow to thee, my country — all earthly things above —
Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love;
The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.

And there's another country, I’ve heard of long ago —
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace.