The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Wake The Startling Watch-Cry Pealeth

For Advent

Words: "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme"

Author: Philipp Nicolai (1556-1608)

Translation by Frances Elizabeth Cox, 1864

Inspired by the Parable of the Ten Virgins: Matthew 25: 1-13
Includes notes and a listing of some of the many hymns and carols inspired by this Parable.

Source: Frances Elizabeth Cox, Hymns from the German (London: Rivingtons, 1864), p. 27.

Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him.
St. Matthew 35:6.

1. Wake! the startling watch-cry pealeth,
While the slumber deep each eyelid sealeth;
Awake! Jerusalem, Awake!
Midnight's solemn hour is tolling,
And cherub notes are onward rolling;
They call on us our part to take.
Come forth, ye virgins wise !
The Bridegroom comes, arise !
Alleluia!
Each lamp be bright,
With ready light,
To grace the Marriage-Feast to-night!

2. Zion hears the Voice that singeth;
With sudden joy her glad heart springeth:
At once she wakes, she stands arrayed:
See her Light, 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 !
Alleluia !
The joyful call
We answer all,
And follow to the Nuptial Hall.

3. Praise to Him Who went 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.
Alleluia !
We raise the song,
We swell the throng,
To praise Thee ages all along.

See also: Wake! The Startling Watch-Cry Pealeth (From J. H. Hopkins, with music) 

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