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

By Psalms and Hymns for the Church (1883). I. “Evening has come”

William Josiah Irons (1812–1883)

EVENING has come, once more the veil of night

Is drawn around us by the hand Divine;

Yet both alike, the darkness and the light,

The evening and the morning, Lord, are Thine.

Sweet is the silent hour which Thou hast given,

For nature asks some pause, as in distress;

Eternal life is only known in heaven,

There man can live and know no weariness.

And yet, in all the unconscious world around,

There is no pause, only the spirit waits,

Like traveller for some mountain-city bound,

Tarrying before the dawn without the gates.

Our moral life stands still awhile, as though

Probation were suspended all night long:

Thought comes at times and says it is not so—

Some work goes on, that we may rise more strong.

O Lord, we live and move and rest in Thee!

The darkness is not dark if Thou be there;

When “the day dawns and all the shadows flee,”

Then shall true life begin in purer air:

And we shall know Thee, dwelling evermore

In light no eye hath seen, nor yet can see;

And FATHER SON and SPIRIT there adore,

One glorious GOD, Eternal TRINITY.