Ah! what time wilt Thou come? when shall that cry,
'The bridegroom's coming,' fill the sky?
Shall it in the evening run,
When our words and works are dome?
Or will Thy all-surprising light
Break at midnight,
When either sleep or some dark pleasure
Possesseth mad man without measure?
Or shall these early fragrant hours
Unlock Thy bowers,
And with their blush of light descry
Thy locks crowned with eternity?
Indeed, it is the only time
That with Thy glory doth best chime;
Full hymns doth yield,
The whole creation shakes off night,
And for Thy shadow looks the light;
Stars now vanish without number,
The pursy clouds disband and scatter,
All expect some sudden matter;
Not one beam triumphs, but from far
That morning star.
Oh, at what time soever, Thou,
Unknown to us, the heavens wilt bow,
And with Thy angels in the van
Descend to judge poor careless man,
Grant I may not like puddle lie
In a corrupt security,
Where, if a traveler water crave,
He finds it dead and in a grave;
But as this restless vocal spring
All day and night doth run and sing,
And though here born, yet is acquainted
Elsewhere, and flowing keeps untainted,
So let me all my busy age
In Thy free services engage;
And though while here of force I must
Have commerce sometimes with poor dust,
And in my flesh, though vile and low,
As this doth in her channel flow,
Yet let my course, my aim, my love,
And chief acquaintance be above;
So when that day and hour shall come
In which Thyself will be the sun,
Thou'lt find me dressed and on my way,
Watching the break of Thy great Day.