1 Watchman, tell us of the night,
what its signs of promise are.
Traveler, what a wondrous sight:
see that glory-beaming star.
Watchman, does its beauteous ray
news of joy or hope foretell?
Traveler, yes; it brings the day,
promised day of Israel.
2 Watchman, tell us of the night;
higher yet that star ascends.
Traveler, blessedness and light,
peace and truth its course portends.
Watchman, will its beams alone
gild the spot that gave them birth?
Traveler, ages are its own;
see, it bursts o’er all the earth.
3 Watchman, tell us of the night,
for the morning seems to dawn.
Traveler, shadows take their flight;
doubt and terror are withdrawn.
Watchman, you may go your way;
hasten to your quiet home.
Traveler, we rejoice today,
for Emmanuel has come!
Source: Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #97
|First Line:||Watchman! tell us of the night|
|Title:||Watchman, Tell Us of the Night|
|Author:||John Bowring (1825)|
|Refrain First Line:||Traveler, yes, it brings the day|
Watchman! tell us of the nigh. Sir J. Bowring. [Advent.] First published in his Hymns, 1825, No. 59, in 3 stanzas of 8 lines. It is found in several modern hymnals, including Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872, &c.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)