Across the sky the shades of night

Across the sky the shades of night

Author: James Hamilton
Published in 27 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML, Noteworthy Composer

Representative Text

1 Across the sky the shades of night
This Winter's eve are fleeting:
We deck Thine altar, Lord, with light,
In solemn worship meeting:
And as the year's last hours go by,
We lift to Thee our earnest cry.
Once more Thy love entreating.

2 Before the cross, subdued we bow,
To Thee our prayers addressing;
Recounting all Thy mercies now,
And all our sins confessing;
Beseeching Thee, this coming year,
To hold us in Thy faith and fear,
And crown us with Thy blessing.

3 And, while we kneel, we lift our eyes
To dear ones gone before us,
Safe housed with Thee in Paradise,
Whose peace descendeth o'er us:
And beg of Thee, when life is past,
To re-unite us all, at last,
And to our loss restore us.

4 We gather up, in this brief hour,
The memory of Thy mercies:
Thy wondrous goodness, love, and power,
Our grateful song rehearses:
For Thou hast been our strength and stay,
In many a dark and dreary day
Of sorrow and reverses.

5 In many an hour, when fear and dread,
Like evil spells hath bound us,
And clouds were gathering overhead,
Thy providence hath found us:
In many a night when waves run high,
Thy gracious presence drawing nigh
Hath made all calm around us.

6 Then, O Great God, in years to come,
Whatever fate betide us,
Right onward through our journey home
Be Thou at hand to guide us:
Nor leave us till, at close of life,
Safe from all perils, toil, and strife,
Heaven shall unfold and hide us.


The Hymnal: revised and enlarged as adopted by the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America in the year of our Lord 1892

Author: James Hamilton

Hamilton, James, M.A., was born at Glendollar, Scotland, April 18, 1819, and educated at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Taking Holy Orders in 1845, he held various charges until 1866, when he became Incumbent of St. Barnabas's, Bristol. In 1867 he was preferred to the Vicarage of Doulting, diocese of Bath and Wells. Mr. Hamilton is the author of a few hymns of great merit. Of these the following are in common use:— 1. Across the sky the shades of night. New Year's Eve. "Written to the old chorale introduced by Mendelssohn into his St. Paul, ‘To God on High be thanks and praise.' " (Hymns Ancient & Modern, tune to 104 by Decius.) It is in Thring's Collection, 1882, &c. 2. O Jesu! Lord most merciful. Passiontide. Contr… Go to person page >

Text Information



The tune name ALLEIN GOTT derives from the opening words of Decius's rhymed text in High German. The tune was first published in Schumann's Geistliche Lieder. Decius adapted the tune from a tenth-century Easter chant for the Gloria text, beginning at the part accompanying the words "et in terra pax.…

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The Cyber Hymnal #266
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Instances (1 - 4 of 4)
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Christian Worship #69


Lutheran Service Book #899


Lutheran Worship #181


The Cyber Hymnal #266

Include 23 pre-1979 instances
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