The Beshara Lecture 2016
By Alan Williams
University of Manchester
Given at Chisholme House, June 19, 2016 at the end of his one-week residential seminar:
The Text as Teacher: Rumi's Masnavi
I would like to dedicate this lecture to Rokus de Groot, who worked so hard with me to make this course a success here at the Chisholme Institute, and to thank him I would like to play one of my most favourite songs.
Early, O Lord, my fainting soul (1680) by Henry Purcell, words by John Patrick, paraphrase of Psalm 63, for two trebles, tenor and bass.
Early, O Lord, my fainting soul
Thy mercy does implore
No traveller in distant lands
Can thirst for water more.
I long to appear as I was wont,
within thy holy place,
Thy pow’r and glory to behold,
And to partake thy grace.
For life itself, without thy love,
No relish can afford;
No other joys can equal this,
To serve and praise the Lord.
I therefore make my pray’rs to thee,
And bless thee whilst I live;
This, like the choicest dainties,
will Both food and pleasure give.
When others sleep, my wakeful thoughts
Present thee to my mind;
And in the night I think how good
My God has been, and kind.
Since thou alone hast been my help,
To thee alone I fly;
And on thy watchful providence
With cheerfulness rely.
Dangers, whilst thou art near to me,
Do threaten me in vain;
When I keep close to God his care
And pow’r will me sustain.