1 Interval of grateful shade,
Welcome to my weary head!
Welcome, slumber, to my eyes,
Tir'd with glaring vanities.
2 My great Master still allows
Needful periods of repose:
By my heav'nly Father blest,
Thus, I give y pow'rs to rest.
3 Heav'nly Father! gracious name!
Night and day his love the same!
Far be each suspicious thought,
Ev'ry anxious care forgot!
4 Thou my ever-bounteous God!
Crown'st my days with various good.
Thy kind eye, which cannot sleep,
My defenseless hours shall keep.
5 What if death my sleep invade?
Should I be of death afraid?
While encircled by thine arm,
Death may strike, but cannot harm.
6 With thy heav'nly presence blest,
Death is life, and labour rest.
Welcome sleep or death to me,
Still secure, for still with thee!
Interval of grateful shade. P. Doddridge. [Evening.] In the "Doddridge Manuscript" this hymn is given in full, but without date. In 1755, it was included in Doddridge's (posthumous) Hymns, as the second of the "Hymns on Particular Occasions and in Uncommon Measures," being No. ccclxiii. of the volume, in 70 lines, and entitled "An Evening Hymn, to be used when composing oneself to sleep." It is also in J. D. Humphreys's edition of the Hymns, 1839, No. 309. In 1812, Dr. Collyer gave the complete hymn in his Collection, dividing the same, as in Doddridge's Hymns, into three parts, and using each part as a separate hymn. He also divided the unbroken lines of the original into stanzas. The three hymns thus made were:—
"Interval of grateful shade."
“What though downy [peaceful] slumbers flee."
“What if death my sleep invade."
This arrangement was repeated in Bickersteth's Christian Psalmody, 1833, Nos. 489, 490, 491, in Elliott's Psalms & Hymns, 1835, No. 827, and other collections. In this manner these three hymns were handed down to modern collections. A cento from the poem is also in common use. It begins: "Heavenly Father, gracious Name."
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)