1 First came the hour of prayer, calm in the mountain air,
And then with sudden blaze came glorious sight;
Yet proud of heart, wouldst thou be blest on Tabor’s brow,
Before thy patient prayers have stormed its height?
2 Or thou hast slept perchance; oh, for an angel’s glance,
Oh, for a light to pierce, mystery to scan!
With face of dazzling light, in raiment pure and white,
With reverent gaze, behold the Son of Man.
3 Alas! hadst thou but known the vision to be shown,
Eagerly thou hadst strained thine anxious eyes;
Thy Lord transfigured there, the while His unknown prayer
Rose up, by angels borne to wondering skies.
4 How hadst thou watched! But now, before the Altered bow,
The Altered, still for thee, the very same;
That Babe on Mary’s knee, now Christ to die for thee,
Clothed in a wondrous robe of burning flame.
5 From hidden grave afar, from mystic fiery car,
Lord of the ages past, future, and space,
The living and the dead brings to this mountain dread,
Bright with the radiance of incarnate grace.
6 No thunders shake the air, no lightnings strike despair,
Yet see the Prophet and law Giver here;
God talks with men, and they His glory see today,
Nor fall in dread amaze, for Christ is near.
7 Oh, in this awful hour of rule and kingly power,
The Lord of Glory now speaks unto them;
Hear, mid the shining light, He tells of coming night,
Death that awaits Him at Jerusalem.
8 Proud heart, when soaring high, scaling the very sky,
Self-throned awhile in some seventh heav’n of bliss;
Think thou with trembling breath of darkness and of death,
Thy Lord from Tabor’s mount hath taught thee this.
9 And when the cloud is near, and flesh shrinks down in fear,
As thou art treading on dread paths unknown,
O Voice of Love, be near, call through the cloud and fear,
Lead to the Mount of God, to Jesus’ throne.
Most British hymn writers in the nineteenth century were clergymen, but William C. Dix (b. Bristol, England, 1837; d. Cheddar, Somerset, England, 1898) was a notable exception. Trained in the business world, he became the manager of a marine insurance company in Glasgow, Scotland. Dix published various volumes of his hymns, such as Hymns of Love and Joy (1861) and Altar Songs: Verses on the Holy Eucharist (1867). A number of his texts were first published in Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861).
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Display Title: First Came The Hour of PrayerFirst Line: First came the hour of prayer, calm in the mountain airTune Title: ASHGABATAuthor: William C. DixMeter: 18.104.22.168Source: A Vision of All Saints, and Other Poems (London: John Hodges, 1871)