Words: William B. O. Peabody, in American Sunday School Psalmody, edited by Elam Ives, Jr. (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: American Sunday School Union, 1832), number 16.
Music: Carolyn Emmelar, in The New Laudes Domini, edited by Charles S. Robinson & Edward Judson (New York: Century Company, 1892), page 460 (🔊 pdf nwc). Note:
Emmelar may be a pseudonym—Robinson used it elsewhere to name one of Joseph Barnby’s tunes; it comes from
M. L. R, the initials of Robinson’s daughter, Mary L. Robinson.
Behold the western evening light!
It melts in deepening gloom:
So calmly Christians sink away,
Descending to the tomb.
The winds breathe low, the withering leaf
Scarce whispers from the tree;
So gently flows the parting breath,
When good men cease to be.
How beautiful on all the hills
The crimson light is shed!
’Tis like the peace the Christian gives
To mourners round his bed.
How mildly on the wandering cloud
The sunset beam is cast!
’Tis like the memory left behind
When loved ones breathe their last.
And now above the dew of night
The rising star appears:
So faith springs in the heart of those
Whose eyes are bathed in tears.
But soon the morning’s happier light
Its glory shall restore,
And eyelids that are sealed in death
Shall wake to close no more.