Roger Rhodes Music, Ltd.



Symphony No. 4 for Chorus and Orchestra

David Van Vactor (1971)

The text is drawn from Thoreau's Walden by D. L. Van Vactor,

to whom this work is gratefully dedicated.


I. Prelude to “The Universe...”

1. ) The Universe is wider than our view of it.

What does Africa, – what does the West stand for?

Direct your eye right inward,

Obey the precept of the old philosopher:

Explore thyself, – Be a Columbus

To whole new continents and worlds within you.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

How worn and dusty the highways of the world,

how deep the ruts of tradition.

I wish to go before the mast of the world;

on the deck of the world,

there I could best see the moonlight amid the mountains.

Oh turn his spring into summer!

  1. Interlude (Orchestra)

  III.   Chorales

   1.) There are such things as joy and sorrow –

only the burden of a psalm, sung with a nasal twang,

While we follow in the ordinary and mean.

  1. The life in us is like the water in the river.

It may rise this year and flood the parched uplands

It was not always dry land where we dwell.

3.) Who knows what beautiful and winged life,

Whose egg has been buried for ages, –

may unexpectedly come forth

to enjoy its perfect summer life at last!

Who does not feel his faith in a resurrection

and immortality strengthened by hearing this?

4.) Humility like darkness reveals the heavenly lights.

The shadows of poverty gather around us, and lo!

Creation widens to our view.

Only that day dawns to which we are awake.

The sun is but a morning star.

Oh turn his spring into summer

The sun is but a morning star.

 IV. Finale

            If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,

and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined,

he will meet success unexpected in common hours.

He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary;

New, universal, and more liberal laws will establish themselves;

He will live with the license of a higher order of beings.

Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and

in such desperate enterprises?

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If a man does not keep pace with his companions,

perhaps it is because he hears a diff'rent drummer.

Let him step to the music which he hears,

however measured or far away.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Say what you have to say, not what you ought.

Any truth is better than make believe.

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Love your life, poor as it is.

It is life near the bone where it is sweetest.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.

God will see you do not want society.

Oh turn his spring into the perfect summer life – at last.