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Prayer Beneath the Green Banner

Original Text : Ludoviko Lazaro ZAMENHOF
English Translation : Marjorie BOULTON

Original Title:

Preĝo sub la verda standardo

Link to Original Esperanto Text
Ligo al Originala Esperanta Teksto

Fonto / Source : Zamenhof, Creator of Esperanto (teksto/text)
Himnaro Esperanta (muziko/music)

  1. To Thee, O mysterious, bodiless Force,
         O Power of the World, all-controlling,
    To Thee, source of Love and of Truth, and the source,
         Of Life in its endless unrolling,
              Whom each may conceive in his way in his mind,
              But the same in his heart, in his feelings, shall find,
         To Thee, the Creator, to Thee, holding sway,
    To Thee, now, we pray.

  2. We turn to Thee now with no creed of a state,
         With no dogmas to keep us apart;
    Blind zeal now is hushed, and fanatical hate;
         Now our faith is the faith of the heart.
              With this truest faith, this unforced faith and free,
              Which all feel alike, we are turning to Thee,
         We stand now, the sons of the whole human race,
    In Thy holy place.

  3. Thy creation was perfect and lovely, but men,
         Are divided, and war on each other;
    Now peoples rend peoples like beasts in a den,
         Now brother makes war on his brother;
              Mysterious Power, whatever Thou art,
              O hear now our prayer, our true prayer from the heart:
         O grant us Thy peace, O give peace once again
    To the children of men!

  4. We are sworn to strive on, we are sworn to the fight
         Till mankind is as one; O sustain us;
    O let us not fall, but be with us, O Might,
         Let no walls of division restrain us.
              Mysterious Power, now bless our endeavour,
              Now strengthen our ardour, and let us, for ever,
         Whoever attacks us, however they rave,
    Be steadfast and brave.

  5. We will hold our green banner on high now, unfurled,
         A symbol of goodness, and, blessed
    In our task by the Mystery ruling the world,
         We shall come to the end of our quest.
              The walls that divide shall divide us no more;
              They shall crack, they shall crash, they shall fall with a roar,
         And love then and truth shall, all walls overthrown,
    Come into their own.

In a footnote, Dr. Boulton writes “My own pallid and uninspired translation does not do full justice to the spontaneous, poignant and often majestic amphibrachs of Zamenhof.” While I agree that the original is more poetic than her translation, I think the latter is quite usable as a hymn (as opposed to poem) translation, and with only slight adjustment to the melody, mostly involving the last syllable or two of a line, can be sung perfectly to Harrison Hill's tune.                      — LBR

Tune : PREĜO
Composed for the Esperanto text by Harrison HILL
(based on the four-part score in Himnaro Esperanta, 5th ed.)

Alternative tune: PREĜO (WEBER)
Composed for the Esperanto text by H. WEBER
(based on a score in Granda Galerio Zamenhofa, ed. Adolf HOLZHAUS, 1973
scanned and submitted by Roel HAVEMAN)

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