The Path

This moving text by Paul Laurence Dunbar is an inspriational reminder that many have to struggle on their path to fully expeiencing all that life has to offer. It was commissioned for the Texas Music Educator’s Convention. Stepwise voice leading, prepared dissonances, and optional notes make it an attractive choice as a teaching piece for concert and festival.

The Path

There are no beaten paths to Glory’s height,
There are no rules to compass greatness known;
Each for himself must cleave a path alone,
And press his own way forward in the fight.
Smooth is the way to ease and calm delight,
And soft the road Sloth chooseth for her own;
But he who craves the flower of life full–blown,
Must struggle up in all his armor dight!
What though the burden bear him sorely down
And crush to dust the mountain of his pride,
Oh, then, with strong heart let him still abide;
For rugged is the roadway to renown,
Nor may he hope to gain the envied crown,
Till he hath thrust the looming rocks aside.