Advent is an occasion to learn some lesser-known hymns that are as beautiful and haunting as any Christmas carol, and haven’t been ruined by Alvin and the Chipmunks piping them over the speakers at Wal-Mart. The Daily Office today featured one of my favorites (click here to sing along):
“How far from home?” I asked as on
I bent my steps – the Watchman spake:
“The long, dark night is almost gone,
the morning soon will break.
Then, weep no more,but speed your flight,
with Hope’s bright star your guiding ray;
’til you shall reach the realms of light,
in everlasting day.”
I asked the travelers in the way,
this was their soul-inspiring song:
“With courage bold,we’ll journey today;
the road won’t be too long.
Then, weep no more, but well endure,
the highway ’til your work is done.
For this we know, the prize is sure,
and victory will be won.”
I asked again; earth, sea, and sun
seemed with one voice to make reply:
“Time’s wasting sands are nearly run,
eternity is nigh.
Then, weep no more,with warning tones,
portentous sights are thickening round;
the whole creation waiting groans,
to hear the trumpet sound.”
Not far from home? O, blessed thought!
The traveler’s lonely heart to cheer;
which oft a healing balm has brought
and dried the mourner’s tear.
Then, weep no more since we shall meet
where weary footsteps never roam.
Our trials past, our joys complete,
safe in our Maker’s home.
Words: Annie Rebekah Smith (19th C)
Music: Tis Midnight Hour (anonymous)