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Watching unto God in the Night Season

Sleep at last has fled these eyes,

Nor do I regret his flight,

More alert my spirits rise,

And my heart is free and light.

Nature silent all around,

Not a single witness near;

God as soon as sought is found;

And the flame of love burns clear.

Interruption, all day long,

Checks the current of my joys;

Creatures press me with a throng,

And perplex me with their noise.

Undisturbed I muse all night,

On the first Eternal Fair;

Nothing there obstructs delight,

Love is renovated there.

Life, with its perpetual stir,

Proves a foe to love and me;

Fresh entanglements occur—

Comes the night, and sets me free.

Never more, sweet sleep, suspend

My enjoyments, always new:

Leave me to possess my friend;

Other eyes and hearts subdue.

Hush the world, that I may wake

To the taste of pure delights;

Oh the pleasures I partake—

God, the partner of my nights!

David, for the selfsame cause,

Night preferred to busy day;

Hearts whom heavenly beauty draws,

Wish the glaring sun away.

Sleep, self–lovers, is for you—

Souls that love celestial know

Fairer scenes by night can view

Than the sun could ever show.

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