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

By Original Hymns. V. The Ministration of Angels

John Mason Neale (1818–1866)

(From “Hymns for the Sick”)

THEY slumber not, nor sleep,

Whom Thou dost send, O God of light,

Around Thine Own the livelong night

Their watch and ward to keep:

They leave their seats on high,

They leave the Everlasting Hymn,

Where Cherubim and Seraphim

Continually do cry:

They come to guard the bed

Whereon, while others wake and weep,

Thou givest Thy belovèd sleep,

And hover round their head.

Nor less they haste to soothe

Their Vigils, who, like me, distrest,

Nor wake to strength, nor sleep to rest,

And make the rough ways smooth.

So peradventure now,

My eyes, if loos’d from flesh, might see

Such an immortal Company,

As ne’er to Monarch bow;

And this familiar room

Might seem the Gate of Paradise;

And in its sorrow joy might rise,

And glory in its gloom.

Thy Holy Name be blest,

God in Three Persons, both by those

That after toil in Thee repose,

And those by grief opprest!