Scripture Verse

The kingdom of Heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. Matthew 25:1


Virgins with Lamps

Words: Will­iam Dick­in­son, Hymns for Pass­ion Week and the For­ty Days (Lon­don: J. Nis­bet, 1846), pag­es 23–24.

Music: Pi­lot John E. Gould, 1871 (🔊 pdf nwc).

John E. Gould


Ere that solemn hour of doom,
When the Son of man shall come,
Bidding quick and bidding dead
Rise to meet their risen Head,
Church of Jesus, hear the Word
Of thine own eternal Lord.

Virgins ten with joyous feet
Went the Bridegroom forth to meet;
Wise with heavenly wisdom, five
Kept with oil their lamps alive;
Five with earth-born folly dim
Scorned with oil their lamps to trim.

While the Bridegroom yet delayed,
Slumber bowed each virgin head;
Sudden rose the midnight cry—
Lo, the Bridegroom draweth nigh!
Leapt to life that virgin train,
Trimmed their dying lamps amain.

Vainly now for oil ye cry,
Foolish virgins, hence, and buy;
Fast thy speed—when lo! the door
Closes on them evermore:
Stern the voice which stuns each heart,
Hence, I know you not, depart.

Church of Jesus, rise and pray,
Dark that hour, and nigh that day;
Woe, ye hypocrites, to you,
Trim your saints, your lamps anew;
For the Bridegroom watch and wait,
Jesus Christ is at the gate.