At Midnight – A Cry

Who is sleeping? Who is watching?

Author: Martha Elvira Pettus
Tune: HORNSEY (Wesley)
Published in 1 hymnal

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 Who is sleeping? Who is watching?
Who the marriage feast shall miss?
Would your lamps have e’er been lighted
But for this?

2 But for this, the marriage supper;
Mystic, glowing, wondrous hour—
When the midnight blooms, all golden
Like a flower?

3 Hark, a voice upon the midnight;
Lo, the Bridegroom’s drawing near;
Take your lamps, and haste to meet Him—
He is here.

4 Hasten, fold your white veils ’round you;
Hold your lamps aloft, alight—
Let their shining bid Him welcome
Through the night!

5 Swift the blessèd ranks are filling;
In the midst His face is seen;
Yet a cry of desolation
Sweeps between!

6 Can such sorrow, such lamenting,
Blot out joy on such a night?
Who can stand here, idle, dreaming,
And—no light?

7 Darkened lamps! Yet once their beaming,
Each through shadow, shone a star:
All were sleeping; but the waking,
Different far.

8 "Lamps gone out?" Ah, vows were broken,
Vows recorded, sealed above:
"Darkened lamps!" Sad, silent token
Of dead love!

9 Now, ’tis all in vain, their seeking
His dear presence evermore;
Shut in, now, the marriage splendor—
Closed the door.

10 Shut in, blessèd ones; the raptured
Hidden ones—His own, His bride:
Only midnight for the weeping
Shut outside.

11 Shall the Bridegroom’s coming find us
In that hour, convicted, dumb?
In that hour, "the hour you think not,"
He will come.

12 We are going forth to meet Him,
Christ the risen, glorified;
Oh! to meet Him, when He cometh
For His bride!

13 Ever deeper fall the shadows,
Ere that solemn midnight cry;
Waiting, shining, are we ready—
You and I?

14 Ready for the marriage glory,
Joy of harp, and flower, and song;
"In the presence of the angels"
Where they throng.

15 Closed the doors, their secret keeping—
Who shall tell the bliss within?
But that secret, faithful spirit,
You shall win.

16 Let your life shine out—a beacon
Lest some other life be lost;
Thou art won, but by His dying—
Priceless cost!

17 Watch! Oh, keep your lamp still burning:
Heart and hand and love employ,
Till He bids you enter, sharing
In His joy!

18 Shining through life’s deepening shadows,
Ere that solemn midnight cry;
Are we ready for His coming—
You and I?

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #10904

Author: Martha Elvira Pettus

(no biographical information available about Martha Elvira Pettus.) Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Who is sleeping? Who is watching?
Title: At Midnight – A Cry
Author: Martha Elvira Pettus
Source: The Wayside Shrine (Boston: Sherman, French & Company, 1914)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


The Cyber Hymnal #10904
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  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)


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The Cyber Hymnal #10904

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