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What is the meaning of "If the way Thou choosest, Lead to pain and loss"? How would you put it in modern English?

It is a verse from Margaret E. Barber's song "The Path I Travel." The whole context is:

If the path I travel Lead me to the Cross,
If the way Thou choosest, Lead to pain and loss,
Let the compensation Daily, hourly, be
Shadowless communion, Blessed Lord with Thee.

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You might have better luck over on Christianity.stackexchange. There's a whole lot of Christian theology wrapped up in this passage. –  T.E.D. Nov 10 '11 at 18:45
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@T.E.D. The question isn't about Christianity per se, but about English from an earlier time. Christianity is only incidental to the question. –  zpletan Nov 10 '11 at 19:55
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@zpletan - Only in the very basics. To really explain the sentence, you'd have to get into why Thou is capitalized and what that implies, the Christian conception of what "way" means (John 14:6, among other things), why a Christian would consdier this a huge sacrifice, etc. I started to write an answer with all this, and halfway through realized that it doesn't really belong here, and folks over there could probably do a much better answer than I. –  T.E.D. Nov 11 '11 at 14:30
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2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

It means

If the way You (God) chooses (for the author) leads to pain and loss

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With an interesting, but now dated, use of subjunctive 'lead' in the first and second lines. –  Barrie England Nov 10 '11 at 18:43
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I suppose that "choosest" is an ancient way to express the past, so I would translate it as "chose" (IInd voice of the paradigm) in modern English. So the construction probably is: "If the way You chose, led to pain and loss".

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-1 -est is an older suffix for second-person verbs, not for past tense –  zpletan Nov 10 '11 at 19:10
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I choose, thou choosest, he chooseth ... present tense. Past tense: I chose, ??? –  GEdgar Nov 10 '11 at 19:46
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Past tense: I chose, Thou chosest, he chose (I think). –  zpletan Nov 10 '11 at 19:54
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