Now Rest Beneath Night's Shadow

Melody - "O Welt, ich muß dich laßen", Heinrich Isaak, 1490; Seq. by Richard Jordan

Paul Gerhardt, 1648; German text

Now rest beneath night's shadow
The woodland, field, and meadow,
The world in slumber lies;
But Thou, my heart, awake thee,
To prayer and song betake thee;
Let praise to thy Creator rise.

2. The radiant sun hath vanished,
His golden rays are banished
By night, the foe of day;
But Christ, the Sun of gladness,
Dispelling all my sadness,
Within my heart holds constant sway.

3. The rule of day is over
And shining jewels cover
The heaven's boundless blue.
Thus I shall shine in heaven,
Where crowns of gold are given
To all who faithful prove and true.

4. To rest my body hasteth,
Aside its garments casteth,
Types of mortality;
These I put off and ponder
How Christ will give me yonder
A robe of glorious majesty.

5. Head, hands, and feet reposing
Are glad the day is closing,
That work came to an end;
Cheer up, my heart, with gladness!
For God from all earth's sadness
And from sin's toil relief will send.

6. Ye weary limbs, now rest you,
For toil hath sore oppressed you,
And quiet sleep ye crave;
A sleep shall once o'ertake you
From which no man can wake you,
In your last narrow bed - the grave.

7. My heavy eyes are closing;
When I lie deep reposing,
Soul, body, where are ye?
To helpless sleep I yield them,
Oh, let Thy mercy shield them,
Thou sleepless Eye, their Guardian be!

8. Lord Jesus, who dost love me,
Oh, spread Thy wings above me
And shield me from alarm!
Though evil would assail me,
Thy mercy will not fail me:
I rest in Thy protecting arm.

9. My loved ones, rest securely,
For God this night will surely
From peril guard your heads.
Sweet slumbers may He send you
And bid His hosts attend you
And through the night watch o'er your beds.


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