Late 19th Century

The following poem by Griswold is from Gems for the Sick, compiled by Mary Paine Manwell (Syracuse, New York: A. W. Hall, 1894), pages 118–20


Oft upon a midnight dreary,
As I’m tossing worn and weary
On my rest-forsaken couch,
Then from out the darkness dreary,
Like an angel flying past,
Comes a strain of tender music
From the memory of the past;
And my heart grows calm and restful
As I hear the olden strain;
And my soul is upward lifted
While I join the sweet refrain:
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of God’s redeeming love.

But I’m thinking, sadly thinking,
Of the friends I’ve loved and lost;
I am thinking of the dear ones
Who so soon the river crossed.
And my heart cries out in anguish
As the darkness closes round.
But the voice of one long sainted
Now is borne in song to me,
Over Heaven’s jasper sea:
Safe in the arms of Jesus,
Safe on His gentle breast,
There, by His love o’er-shaded,
Sweetly my soul shall rest.

But the storms of life sweep o’er me;
Life is but a stormy sea;
Yet, tonight, I find my refuge,
Rock of Ages, still in Thee.
And while the billows near me roll,
While the tempest still is high,
Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly.

Many are the stings and burdens
In the pathway of today;
But these songs, these songs at midnight
Steal their bitterness away.
Jesus, I my cross have taken,
All to leave and follow Thee;
I am poor, despised, forsaken,
Thou from hence my all shall be.

But these strains have died away,
And there comes a simpler lay
Which, in days of childhood fleet,
Wooed me into slumber sweet.
Hush! an angel hovers nigh!
’Tis my mother’s lullaby:
Hush, my dear, lie still and slumber,
Holy angels guard thy bed,
Heavenly blessings without number
Now are falling on thy head.

Oh! this soothing, calm and deep!
Giveth He his loved ones sleep.
Doubts and darkness take their flight,
Songs He giveth in the night.

  1. Trim Your Lamp