Scripture Verse

From the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. Matthew 27:45


Archer T. Gurney (1820–1887)

Words: Arch­er T. Gur­ney, in Ly­ra Mes­sia­ni­ca, ed­it­ed by Or­by Ship­ley (Lon­don: Long­man, Green, Lon­gman, Ro­berts & Green, 1864), pag­es 166–67.

Music: Wind­sor Chris­to­pher Tye, 1533. Ar­ranged in the Booke of Mus­icke, by Will­iam Da­man, 1591 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Tye (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),


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.