Creator of all! through whose all-seeing might
This ponderous globe to its hour is true,
Thou glad’st us each morn with the vision of light,
And at eve on our lids pourest slumber like dew.
The toils of the day are now brought to their end,
And night is preparing her balm for our eyes;
Our strength, Lord, encourage, our weakness defend;
Hear our prayers as they spring, and our hymns as they rise!
We beseech of Thee now, when dim night over all
Is enfolding her shroud and resuming her sway,
That Thy grace still may shine, ’mid the glooms that appal,
As a star to our eyes, and a lamp to our way.
Though our bodies may sleep, let our souls be awake,
Keep them free from the deadness that guilt only knows;
Be the dream of the night pure as day, for Thy sake,
And the calm of Thy paradise on our repose!
From all stain of crime let our bosoms be free,
And still rest on our God, unpolluted and clear;
So the tempter shall flee; nor our slumbers endure
One pang of remorse or one shudder of fear.
Ambrose (b. Treves, Germany, 340; d. Milan, Italy, 397), one of the great Latin church fathers, is remembered best for his preaching, his struggle against the Arian heresy, and his introduction of metrical and antiphonal singing into the Western church. Ambrose was trained in legal studies and distinguished himself in a civic career, becoming a consul in Northern Italy. When the bishop of Milan, an Arian, died in 374, the people demanded that Ambrose, who was not ordained or even baptized, become the bishop. He was promptly baptized and ordained, and he remained bishop of Milan until his death. Ambrose successfully resisted the Arian heresy and the attempts of the Roman emperors to dominate the church. His most famous convert and disciple w… Go to person page >
Deus Creator omnium Polique Sector. St. Ambrose. [Saturday Evening.] St. Augustine in his Confessions, Bk. ix., refers thus to this hymn:—
" And behold, the corpse [of his mother] was carried to the burial; we went and returned without tears . .. It seemed also good to me to go and bathe, having heard that the bath had its name (balneum) from the Greek Bakavelov, for that it drives sadness from the mind. And this also I confess unto Thy mercy, Father of the fatherless, that I bathed, and was the same as before I bathed. For the bitterness of sorrow could not exude out of my heart. Then I slept, and woke up again, and found my grief not a little softened; and as I was alone in my bed, I remembered those true verses of Tby Ambrose. For Thou art the
"Maker of all, the Lord,
And Ruler of the height,
Who, robing day in light, hast poured
Soft slumbers oer the night,
That to our limbs the power
Of toil may be renew'd,
And hearts be rais'd that sink and cower
And sorrow be subdu'd."
[The Confessions of St. Augustine. Oxford: J. Parker. New edition 1871, p. 195.]
[Rev. W. A. Shouts, B.D.]
Translations not in common use:—
1. Creator of all! through Whose all-seeing Might. Hymnarium Anglicanum . 1844.
--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)