1 Just and devout old Simeon liv'd;
to him it was reveal'd,
that Christ, the Lord, his eyes should see
ere death his eyelids seal'd.
2 For this consoling gift of Heav’n
to Israel’s fallen state,
from year to year with patient hope
the aged saint did wait.
3 Nor did he wait in vain; for lo!
revolving years brought round,
in season due, the happy day,
which all his wishes crown'd.
4 When Jesus, to the temple brought
by Mary’s pious care,
as Heav’n’s appointed rites required,
to God was offer'd there,
5 Simeon into those sacred courts
a heav’nly impulse drew;
he saw the Virgin hold her Son,
and straight his Lord he knew.
6 With holy joy upon his face
the good old father smil'd;
then fondly in his wither'd arms
he clasp'd the promis'd child:
7 And while he held the heav’n-born Babe,
ordain'd to bless mankind,
thus spoke, with earnest look, and heart
exulting, yet resign'd:
8 Now, Lord! according to thy word,
let me in peace depart;
mine eyes have thy salvation seen,
and gladness fills my heart.
9 At length my arms embrace my Lord,
now let their vigour cease;
at last my eyes my Saviour see,
now let them close in peace.
10 This great salvation, long prepar'd,
and now disclos'd to view,
hath prov'd thy love was constant still,
and promises were true.
11 That Sun I now behold, whose light
shall heathen darkness chase,
and rays of brightest glory pour
around thy chosen race.