The texts of these choruses were chosen from Ira D. Sankey's popular Gospel Hymn Book, from the mid-nineteenth century, a volume much loved by Charles Ives who quoted numerous Snakey tunes in almost all of this mature works. There is something socially very moving about them, providing as they did a means of solace, comfort and hope for a better life for people whose lives were, on average, probably terrible.
Some of the phraseology and turns of phrase may also have been an influence on American poets in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Pre-echoes of Emily Dickenson can be heard on the texts of both I'm a Pilgrim and Beautiful Valley of Eden. In all four cases, the chosen texts generally avoid any specifically religious references.
Titles: I'm a Pilgrim * Beautiful Valley of Eden * Bright Morning Star! * At the Fountain.