From the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. Matthew 27:45
O’er hill and vale and temple proud
When Jesus died for man,
There hung in air a sable shroud
To mark the bitter ban—
The ban of death on sinners laid,
The dreadful debt Emmanuel paid!
Well might the sun of nature hide
Its matchless lamp of light,
And veil, while its Creator died,
All radiancy in night:
How could the smallest star illume
The depth of such infernal gloom!
Oh! direful darkness—unalloyed,
Of horror most profound—
Emblem of what the cross destroyed
And leveled with the ground;
When, bursting through the reams of hell,
It beamed with light ineffable!
Lord! by that darkness, from this soul
All darkness roll away—
Nor let a shade of sin control
My progress t’wards the day:
That day, with an unclouded sky,
Of Heav’n—in full eternity!