When shades of night around us close
When shades of night around us close,
And weary limbs in sleep repose,
The faithful soul awake may be,
And longing sigh, O Lord, to Thee.
Thou true Desire of nations, hear,
Thou Word of God, Thou Savior dear;
In pity heed our humble cries,
And bid at length the fallen rise.
O come, Redeemer, come and free
Thine own from guilt and misery;
The gates of heav’n again unfold,
Which Adam’s sin had closed of old.
All praise, eternal Son, to Thee,
Whose advent sets Thy people free,
Whom with the Father we adore
And Holy Ghost forevermore.
Charles Coffin (1676-1749)
Charles Coffin wrote more than 100 hymns in his lifetime, but only two of them are still commonly sung, "On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry" and "What star is this that beams so bright." (In fact, I'll be singing "On Jordan's bank" at church later this morning.) I don't know why "When shades of night around us close" is no longer sung. I'm rather fond of it.