Scripture Verse

He spoke to them in the cloudy pillar. Psalm 99:7


Gregory I (540–604)

Words: Gre­go­ry I (540–604) (Ec­ce jam noc­tis te­nu­atur um­bra). The trans­la­tion be­low ap­peared ano­ny­mous­ly in Hedge and Hunt­ing­ton’s Hymns for the Church of Christ (Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts: 1853). It may have been in­spired by W. J. Cope­land’s trans­la­tion Lo, Now the Melt­ing Shades of Night Are End­ing (Hymns for the Week, 1848).

Music: Laus Ma­tu­ti­na John Stain­er, 1872 (🔊 pdf nwc).

John Stainer (1840–1901)


Now, when the dus­ky shades of night, re­treat­ing
Before the sun’s red ban­ner, swift­ly flee;
Now, when the ter­rors of the dark are fleet­ing,
O Lord, we lift our thank­ful hearts to Thee.

To Thee, whose Word, the fount of light un­seal­ing,
When hill and dale in thick­est dark­ness lay,
Awoke bright rays across the dim earth steal­ing,
And bade the ev­en and morn com­plete the day.

Look from the tow­er of Hea­ven, and send to cheer us,
Thy light and truth, to guide us on­ward still;
Still let Thy mer­cy, as of old, be near us,
And lead us safe­ly to Thy ho­ly hill.

In vain to la­bor, un­less Thou be with him,
Man go­eth forth through all the wea­ry day;
In vain his strife, in vain his toil un­ceas­ing,
Unless Thy staff bring com­fort on his way.

Thou, who hast made the north and south, watch o’er us;
Thou, in whose name the lone­ly ones re­joice,
Still let Thy cloudy pil­lar glide be­fore us,
Still let us list­en for Thy warn­ing voice.

So, when the morn of end­less light is wak­ing,
And shades of ev­il from its splen­dors flee,
Safe may we rise, the earth’s dark breast for­sak­ing,
Through all the long bright day to dwell with Thee.