He who would valiant be ’gainst all disaster,
Let him in constancy follow the Master.
There’s no discouragement shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent to be a pilgrim.
Who so beset him round with dismal stories
Do but themselves confound—his strength the more is.
No foes shall stay his might; though he with giants fight,
He will make good his right to be a pilgrim.
Since, Lord, Thou dost defend us with Thy Spirit,
We know we at the end, shall life inherit.
Then fancies flee away! I’ll fear not what men say,
I’ll labor night and day to be a pilgrim.
Written by John Bunyan as part of Pilgrim's Progress, and amended by Percy Dearmer in 1906, this hymn, in the words of one commentator "stirs us out of our easygoing dull Christianity to the thrill of great adventure."
The words encourage us to keep going, to ignore those with "dismal stories" who try to bring us down, and to hold firm to the knowledge that we will inherit eternal life.
We are all pilgrims though life's journey - let's remember the words of this song, and "labour night and day" throughout our pilgrimage.