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Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

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"Let Us Now Praise Famous Men" is a choral work by Ralph Vaughan Williams. I was listening to it tonight, and thought how the words have always moved me, particularly the last four lines.

Let us now praise famous men,
And our Fathers that begat us.
Such as did bear rule in their kingdoms,
Men renowned for their power.

Leaders of the people
By their counsels and by their knowledge.
Such as found out musical tunes,
And recited verses in writing:

All these were honoured in their generations,
And were the glory of their times.

And some there be which have no memorial;
Who are perished, as though they had never been.
Their bodies are buried in peace;
But their name liveth for ever more
.

The text is adapted from Ecclesiasticus 44. Ecclesiasticus is in a section of the Bible (the

Apocrypha = Greek From hidden) between the Old and New Testaments, and not always considered as worthy of inclusion, although the balance of opinion across time and place has felt it deserves its place, and I concur.

Finally I though you might like to see the passage (as it was originally) in the first printing of the King James Bible. The image is from https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Ecclesiasticus-Chapter-44_Original-1611-KJV/



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