Scripture Verse

Upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared. Luke 24:1

Introduction

portrait
John H. Hopkins, Jr.
1820–1891

Words & Mu­sic: John H. Hop­kins, Jr., Ca­rols, Hymns and Songs (New York: Church Book De­po­si­to­ry, 1863), pag­es 34–35, alt. (🔊 pdf nwc).

Lyrics

Sadly in the gathering gloom,
Sat three Marys by the tomb;
Lingering in the chill night air,
The last of all that laid Him there:
Therefore first their hearts were cheered,
Soon as their Lord they saw and heard.
Ere the early dawn appeared,
On Easter day in the morning.

Refrain

Thus, while Nature is weeping,
Faith her vigil is keeping,
Till the glorious Orb of Day
Shall scatter the clouds away.

Fondly in their hands they bring
Spices for their Lord and king—
Aloes, cassia, incense, myrrh—
To fill the fragrant sepulcher:
Therefore first the risen Lord,
To the dear saints that thus adored,
Was like ointment sweet outpoured,
On Easter day in the morning.

Refrain

To His grave the stone is rolled;
They, with weeping eyes, behold,
While His foes, with flouts and flings,
All seal it with their signet rings:
Therefore first of all saw they
Cherubim, who, in bright array,
Rolled that mighty stone away,
On Easter day in the morning.

Refrain

Soon they see, with measured tread,
Roman guards approach the Dead;
Sword, and spear, and nodding plume
Encamp around the silent tomb:
Therefore they were thither led,
When, at the roar of earthquake dread,
Fast the fearful Romans fled,
On Easter day in the morning.

Refrain

Last to kiss His feet were they,
When in death His body lay;
Last to weep, while they around
His limbs the linen grave clothes wound;
First, then, they hear angels tell
How the Lord Christ, our foes to quell,
Burst the bands of Death and Hell,
On Easter day in the morning.

Refrain

Love now wins a new employ;
Last in grief is first in joy:
Woman shall proclaim to men,
That Jesus Christ is ris’n again!
We still hear the message sung,
Sweetly as when, from woman’s tongue,
First its thrilling raptures rung,
On Easter day in the morning.

Refrain