O Lord of mercy, at Thy gate
I loudly knock though coming late,
And seek to enter in;
Noon passed with all its promise clear,
The day declined, now night is here—
Forgive, O Lord, my sin.
I wandered while the daylight shone,
Nor thought until the light had flown
How far my feet had strayed;
I said, "My wanderings I'll control,"
But while the world sang to my soul,
I sinfully delayed.
O let me in—I see the light,
Its golden arrows pierce the night,
But all without is drear,
And cold, and chill; O night winds, bear
The burden of my heart-born prayer,
And bring it to His ear.
I hear the music and the song,
The laughter of the gleeful throng
That fill the festal hall;
The night dews fall, I've journeyed far—
O wilt Thou not the gate unbar,
In answer to my call?
Thou sought'st, O Lord, the wandering child,
By wood and stream, and moorland wild,
When Thou on earth did'st dwell;
The fold, secure, was left behind,
That Thou might'st seek the lost, and find
Whom Thou did'st love so well.
Yea, 'tis Thy voice! the gate unbar,—
O let me in, I've travelled far,
The midnight wind is chill;
O Christ, what means the silent dread?
Why is the voice of gladness dead,
And all within so still?
Yea, 'tis His voice—Thy servant hears,
Speak, Lord! "Depart?" O night, and fears!
O deepest, darkest woe!
"Depart, for thou hast come too late,
The day is gone, and closed the gate,
Hence from My presence go!"