Universalis

Friday, 20 July 2007

Thou my high tower


One of the important architectual delights found in Ireland is the high tower. Here is the high tower in Powerscourt Gardens which I had pleasure in climbing. High towers enabled people to escape from their enemies and to guard their belongings against theft.

A much more beautiful round tower can be found at Glendaloch, again in the Wicklow Mountains.



This idea of being defended against the enemy is taken up in words from the beautiful Early Irish hymn 'Rop tu mo baile, a Choimdiu cride', which most us know in English translation as 'Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart.'

Be thou my breast-plate, my sword for the fight;
Be thou my armour, and be thou my might;
Thou my soul's shelter, and thou my high tower,
Raise thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

2 comments:

Liz said...

yes those high towers are impressive, seen many on our travels, but never thought of the hymn verse before.

John the organist said...

Yes we've seen them too and not thought of linking them with that wonderful hymn!