Wake, awake, for night is flying; The watchmen on the heights are crying: Awake, Jerusalem, at last! Midnight hears the welcome voices And at the thrilling cry rejoices; Come forth, you virgins, night is past; The Bridegroom comes, awake; Your lamps with gladness take; Alleluia! And for His marriage feast prepare for you must go and meet Him there.
Zion hears the watchmen singing, And all her heart with joy is springing; She wakes, she rises from her gloom; For her Lord comes down all glorious, The strong in grace, in truth victorious. Her Star is risen, her Light is come. Ah come, You blessed One, God’s own beloved Son: Alleluia! We follow till the halls we see Where You bid us sup’ with Thee.
Now let all the heavens adore You, And saints and angels sing before You, With harp and cymbal’s clearest tone; Of one pearl each shining portal, Where we are with the choir immortal Of angels round Your dazzling throne; Nor eye hath seen, nor ear has yet attained to hear What there is ours, but we rejoice and sing to You our hymn of joy eternally.
-Philip Nicolai, “Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying,” trans. Catherine Winkworth
Philip Nicolai (1556 – 1608 AD) was a German Lutheran pastor, poet, and composer. Some of his famous chorales have inspired many composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach.