Scripture Verse

The kingdom of Heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. Matthew 25:1


Robert M. Moorsom

Words: Author un­known, from the Fer­i­al Mid­night Of­fice of the Greek Church (Iδοὺ ο Nύμ­φι­ος έρ­χε­ται). Trans­lat­ed from Greek to Eng­lish by Ro­bert M. Moor­som, Ren­der­ings of Church Hymns, 1901.

Music: Ge­ron­i­mo Charles V. Stan­ford, in Hymns An­cient and Mo­dern, 1904 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Charles V. Stanford
© National Portrait Gallery


Behold, the Bridegroom draweth nigh
Hear ye the oft repeated cry?
Go forth into the midnight dim;
For blest are they whom He shall find
With ready heart and watchful mind;
Go forth, my soul, to Him.

Behold, the Bridegroom cometh by,
The call is echoed from the sky:
Go forth, ye servants, watch and wait:
The slothful cannot join His train;
No careless ones can entrance gain;
Awake, my soul, ’tis late.

The wise will plead with one accord,
O holy, holy, holy Lord,
On us Thy quickening grace bestow,
That none may reach the door too late,
When Thou shalt enter at the gate
And to Thy kingdom go.

Behold, the Bridegroom draweth near,
The warning falls on every ear:
That night of dread shall come to all:
Behold, my soul, thy lamp so dim,
Rise, rise the smoking flax to trim;
Soon shalt thou hear His call.