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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Midnight Hymn of the Eastern Church

Gerard Moultrie (1829–1885)

(From the Greek)

BEHOLD, the Bridegroom cometh in the middle of the night,

And blest is he whose loins are girt, whose lamp is burning bright;

But woe to that dull servant, whom his Master shall surprise

With lamp untrimmed, unburning, and with slumber in his eyes.

Do thou, my soul, beware, beware, lest thou in sleep sink down,

Lest thou be given o’er to death, and lose the golden crown;

But see that thou be sober, with a watchful eye, and thus

Cry—Holy, Holy, Holy God, have mercy upon us.

That Day, the Day of Fear, shall come; my soul, slack not thy toil,

But light thy lamp, and feed it well, and make it bright with oil;

Thou knowest not how soon may sound the cry at eventide,

“Behold, the Bridegroom comes. Arise! Go forth to meet the Bride.”

Beware, my soul, beware, beware, lest thou in slumber lie,

And, like the five, remain without, and knock, and vainly cry;

But watch, and bear thy lamp undimmed, and Christ shall gird thee on

His own bright Wedding Robe of Light—the Glory of the Son.