An extended anthem for TTBB men’s voices and organ or five violoncellos suitable for use in Advent or the weeks leading up to it. Only the version with organ accompaniment is available for sale here. Order the full score and set of parts from IONIAN ARTS, Inc.
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 done?
Or will thy all-surpising 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 decy
Thy locks crowned with eternity?
Indeed it is the only time
That with thy glory dost best chime:
All now are stirring, every field,
Full hymns doth yield,
The whol creation shakes off night,
And for thy shadow looks the light;
Stars now vanish without number,
Sleepy planets set, and slumber,
The pursy clouds disband and scatter;
All expect some sudden matter,
Not one beam triumps, but from afar
O 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 traveller 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 service 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 doeth 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’ll find me dressed and on my way
Watching the break of thy great day.
—Henry Vaughan (1622-1695)
Commissioned by The Cathedral of St. John, Denver, Colorado; dedicated to Donald Pearson, Organist-Choirmaster and all of the musicians at St. John’s.