Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ursula Wood

Letter No.: 
Dec 26 [1939]

From R. Vaughan Williams,
The White Gates,
Westcott Road,

My Dear

I spent an hour over the lovely poetry book, and found quantities I did not know - but that is not strange for an illiterate person like me.
By the way who is Emily Dickinson - and also can you search Shelley for me for some more lines to set - I want a series of war time songs1 - I’ve done P. Unbound2 last 9 lines (“Song of Victory”) and a number of earlier lines “Love from its ... healing wings”3 (Song of Healing) - I want some more “Courage” “Hope” etc - but they must be “settable” e.g. the next lines starting “Gentlemen” are quite unsettable - can you find me some?
Love from


1. These were published as Six choral songs - to be sung in time of war, Catalogue of Works p.178 (1940/1).
2. Prometheus Unbound.
3. “Love from its awful throne of patient power in the wise heart / In the wise heart, from the last giddy hour / Of dread endurance, from the slippery, steep, / And narrow verge of crag-like agony, springs / And folds over the world its healing wings." Prometheus Unbound, Act IV, lines 557-61.


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/12, ff. 46-47
General notes: 

Year added by UVW.

Cobbe 333
Original database number: