O Watchman, will the night of sin
Be never past?
O watchman, doth the tarrying day begin
To dawn upon thy straining sight at last?
Will it dispel
Ere long the mists of sin wherein I dwell?
Now all the earth is bright and glad
With the fresh morn;
But all my heart is cold and dark and sad;
Sun of the soul, let me behold Thy dawn!
Come, Jesus, Lord!
Oh quickly come, according to Thy word!
Do we not live in those blest days
So long foretold,
When Thou shouldst come to bring us light and grace?
And yet I sit in darkness as of old,
Pining to see
Thy glory; but Thou still art far from me.
Long since Thou camest for the light
Of all men here;
And still in me is nought but blackest night,
Yet I am thine, Oh hasten to appear,
Shine forth and bless
My soul with vision of Thy righteousness!
If thus in darkness ever left,
Can I fulfil
The works of light, while yet of light bereft?
Or how discern in love and meekness still
To follow Thee,
And all the sinful works of darkness flee?
The light of reason cannot give
Light to my soul;
Jesus alone can make me truly live,
One glance of His can make my spirit whole,
Arise and shine,
O Jesus, on this longing heart of mine!
Single and clear, not weak or blind,
The eye must be,
To which Thy glory shall and entrance find;
For if Thy chosen ones would gaze on Thee,
No earthly screen
Between their souls and Thee must intervene.
Jesus, do Thou mine eyes unseal,
And let them grow
Quick to discern whate'er thou dost reveal,
So shall I be deliver'd from that woe,
Blindly to stray
Through hopeless night, while all around is day.
Richter, Christian Friedrich, son of Sigismund Richter, Rath and Chancellor to Count von Promnitz at Sorau, in Brandenburg, was born at Sorau, Oct. 5, 1676. At the University of Halle he was first a student of medicine and then of theology. In 1698, A. H. Francke appointed him Inspector of the Paedagogium, and then made him, in 1699, physician in general to all his Institutions. In company with his younger brother, Dr. Christian Sigismund Richter, he made many chemical experiments, for which he prepared himself by special prayer; and invented many compounds which came into extensive use under the name of the “Halle Medicines," the most famous being the Essentia dulcis, which was a preparation of gold. He died at Halle, Oct. 5, 1711 (Koch,… Go to person page >
Translator: Catherine Winkworth
Catherine Winkworth is "the most gifted translator of any foreign sacred lyrics into our tongue, after Dr. Neale and John Wesley; and in practical services rendered, taking quality with quantity, the first of those who have laboured upon German hymns. Our knowledge of them is due to her more largely than to any or all other translators; and by her two series of Lyra Germanica, her Chorale Book, and her Christian Singers of Germany, she has laid all English-speaking Christians under lasting obligation."
--Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A., 1872… Go to person page >