From the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. Matthew 27:45
Words: Archer T. Gurney, in Lyra Messianica, edited by Orby Shipley (London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts & Green, 1864), pages 166–67.
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The awful noontide gloom is o’er,
The darkness ebbs away;
The Maries linger to adore:
O, let us with them pray!
Yea, let us linger ’neath the cross
Where hangs the Lord of Life;
Now let us weep their bitter loss,
And mourn our carnal strife.
More calmly now each past offense
May we in grief review,
And weep our vanished innocence,
And feel despair our due.
Yet He upon the cross who lies
For us hath pardon won;
Thence blend we comfort with our sighs,
And laud the glorious Son.
The hours creep on—O rest we here
Beneath the cross’ shade!
We’ll keep our vigil, sad yet dear,
Till low our Lord is laid.
See! Joseph comes with spices’ store;
See Nicodemus aid:
They gaze upon their Lord once more
While daylight’s rays do fade.
With pious haste and pious awe
They soon their task complete;
From those blest hands the nails they draw
And free those sacred feet.
Then down the blessèd form they bear
And low on earth to lay,
And weeping bend in silent prayer,
Yet scarce for tears can pray.
Now see that gracious company,
The Maries, true Saint John,
And those twain lords of high degree
Now raise and bear Him on.
They bear Him to the new-hewn tomb,
There down their Lord they set,
And leave Him in the sacred gloom,
Their Lord, and Savior yet.
O silent tears, O sighs of pain,
How flowed ye fast and free!
For them, for us, the Lamb was slain
To all eternity.