Christ My Song - 1980
Darkness reigns, – the hum of life's commotion - At midnight (Meta Heusser-Schweizer/Jane Laurie Borthwick/
Johannes Thomas Rüegg)
Beside my sleeping children.
2. Love on earth her lonely vigil keeping,
Love in heaven that rests or slumbers not, –
peace, my anxious heart! though thou wert sleeping
Love Divine has ne'er its charge forgot.
3. And for you, my brightest earthly flowers,
you, my children, Love Divine has cared;
sleep, belovèd ones! through these dark hours
angels by your pillow watch and guard.
4. Here the wingèd messengers of Heaven,
as beheld at Bethel, come and go;
angel guardians, whom the Lord has given
to each little one while here below.
5. Do I feel their pinions, gently waving?
Are they watching me, too, from above?
Ah! my faith looks higher, humbly craving
blessings greater far than angel-love.
6. Thou, O Saviour, when on earth residing,
never didst thou scorn a mother's prayer;
faith may still behold thee here abiding,
still commend her treasures to thy care.
7. Thine they are, – from thee did I receive them, –
see, again I lay them on thy breast;
never may the Tempter's art deceive them, –
make them in thyself for ever blessed!
8. Were not all my hope on thee reposing,
thou, sole refuge for a sinner's fears,
then, the future all its ills disclosing,
I could give my children only tears.
9. From their earthly parents they inherit
only sin and weakness, grief and pain;
give them, Lord, thine all-sufficient merit,
spiritual birth and life again.
10. Give them the new name, and safely write them
in thy book, to share thy children's lot;
Earth may separate – do thou unite them
in the bonds which Death dissolveth not.
11. By thy rod and staff in mercy lead them
in the footsteps of thy flock below,
till, 'mid heavenly pastures thou shalt feed them
where the streams of life eternal flow.
12. Sleep, my darlings, in the Shepherd's keeping!
Peace, my heart! His promise stands for aye!
Swift it flies, our night of toil and weeping,
soon shall dawn the everlasting day!
H.L.L., alias Jane Laurie Borthwick, Alpine Lyrics, ca. 1874, 22-24.
Translated from the German Dunkel ist's! Des Lebens laute Töne - Um Mitternacht of Meta Heusser-Schweizer.