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A Hymn for Midnight

While midnight shades the earth o'erspread

Author: Charles Wesley (1739)
Tune: ST. CHRYSOSTOM (Barnby)
Published in 1 hymnal

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1. While midnight shades the earth o’erspread,
And veil the bosom of the deep,
Nature reclines her weary head,
And care respires and sorrows sleep;
My soul still aims at nobler rest,
Aspiring to her Savior’s breast.

2. Aid me, ye hovering spirits near,
Angels and ministers of grace;
Who ever, while you guard us here,
Behold your heavenly Father’s face!
Gently my raptured soul convey
To regions of eternal day.

3. Fain would I leave this earth below,
Of pain and sin the dark abode;
Where shadowy joy, or solid woe,
Allures, or tears me from my God:
Doubtful and insecure of bliss,
Since death alone confirms me His.

4. Till then, to sorrow born, I sigh,
And gasp, and languish after home;
Upward I send my streaming eye,
Expecting till the Bridegroom come:
Come quickly, Lord! Thy own receive;
Now let me see Thy face, and live.

5. Absent from Thee, my exiled soul
Deep in a fleshly dungeon groans;
Around me clouds of darkness roll,
And laboring silence speaks my moans:
Come quickly, Lord! Thy face display,
And look my midnight into day.

6. Error, and sin, and death are o’er,
If Thou reverse the creature’s doom;
Sad Rachel weeps her loss no more,
If Thou, the God, the Savior come:
Of Thee possest, in Thee we prove
The light, the life, the heaven of love.

Author: Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley, M.A. was the great hymn-writer of the Wesley family, perhaps, taking quantity and quality into consideration, the great hymn-writer of all ages. Charles Wesley was the youngest son and 18th child of Samuel and Susanna Wesley, and was born at Epworth Rectory, Dec. 18, 1707. In 1716 he went to Westminster School, being provided with a home and board by his elder brother Samuel, then usher at the school, until 1721, when he was elected King's Scholar, and as such received his board and education free. In 1726 Charles Wesley was elected to a Westminster studentship at Christ Church, Oxford, where he took his degree in 1729, and became a college tutor. In the early part of the same year his religious impressions were much deepene… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: While midnight shades the earth o'erspread
Title: A Hymn for Midnight
Author: Charles Wesley (1739)
Source: Hymns and Sacred Poems (London: William Strahan, 1739), pages 49-50
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


The Cyber Hymnal #2696
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)


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The Cyber Hymnal #2696

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