Scripture Verse

Watchman, what of the night? Isaiah 21:11


Words: Ca­ro­line D. Howe, in Roy­al Dia­dem, by Ro­bert Low­ry & How­ard Doane (New York: Big­low & Main, 1873), num­ber 149.

Music: W. How­ard Doane (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Howe (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),

W. Howard Doane (1832–1915)


On the heights why standest thou,
Sentinel, with sleepless brow?
In the service of our Lord,
I am keeping watch and word;
Sleeping ne­ver, guarding ever
All the posts of danger near;
Lest our city should be captured,
Lest the enemy appear.


Tho’ the night be long and weary,
Cheer thee, soldier, yonder distant ray
Shall dispel these war clouds dreary;
Thou shalt soon behold the day!

On the heights what seest thou,
Sentinel, with sleepless brow?
Sin and crime with heedless bound,
Send their forces all around;
Never sleeping, ever keeping,
Faithful guard tho’ foes appall,
Christ Himself our arms will strengthen,
Mighty to encompass all.


On the heights what hearest thou,
Sentinel, with sleepless brow?
Still the foe in phalanx broad,
Arms himself against the Lord;
Armor glancing, swift advancing,
When we thought sal­va­tion near;
Waken soldiers! march to battle,
Christ the Lord is Captain here.