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In Puritan tradition it was not thought right to have music and singing in church in Bunyan’s day, and it was not until the time of his successor, Ebenezer Chandler, that singing was encouraged. However, Bunyan’s poem, which appeared in the second part of The Pilgrim’s Progress, is today sung as a hymn the world over.

Who would true valour see,

let him come hither;

one here will constant be,

come wind, come weather.

There’s no discouragement

shall make him once relent

his first avowed intent

to be a pilgrim.


Whoso beset him round

with dismal stories,

do but themselves confound;

his strength the more is.

No lion can him fright,

he’ll with a giant fight,

but he will have a right

to be a pilgrim.


Hobgoblin nor foul fiend

can daunt his spirit:

he knows he at the end

shall life inherit.

Then fancies fly away,

he’ll fear not what men say,

he’ll labour night and day

to be a pilgrim.

John Bunyan (1628-1688)

Adapted from an English traditional melody by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

To the tune of Monks Gate.

Click on the link below to listen to the choir and congregation at St Paul’s Church, Bedford sing Who would true valour see as part of the BBC's Songs of Praise from Bedford in 2011. 

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