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Sleepers, Wake!

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Sleepers, Wake!

words by Philip Nicolai, 1599
translation adapted by Frances E. Cox, 1864

  1. "Sleepers, wake!" the watch cry pealeth,
    while slumber deep each eyelid sealeth:
    Awake, Jerusalem, awake!
    Midnight's solemn hour is tolling,
    and seraph-notes are onward rolling;
    They call on us our part to take.
    Come forth, ye virgins wise:
    the Bridegroom comes, arise!
    Each lamp be bright
    with ready light
    to grace the marriage feast tonight.
  2. Zion hears the voice that singeth
    with sudden joy her glad heart springeth,
    at once she wakes, she stands arrayed:
    her Light is come, her Star ascending,
    lo, girt with truth, with mercy blending,
    her Bridegroom there, so long delayed.
    All hail! God's glorious Son,
    all hail! our joy and crown,
    The joyful call
    we answer all,
    and follow to the bridal hall.

  3. Praise to him who goes before us!
    Let men and angels join in chorus,
    let harp and cymbal add their sound.
    Twelve the gates, a pearl each portal:
    we haste to join the choir immortal
    within the Holy City's bound.
    Ear ne'er heard aught like this,
    nor heart conceived such bliss.
    We raise the song,
    we swell the throng,
    to praise thee ages all along.