The Watchmen

“The Watchmen,” Ensign, May 1972, 43

The Watchmen

From evening’s flight before the dark

We’ve kept the post on mountain height;

Master, we list for thy dread trump

To rend the stillness of the night.

Oh, as thy wonders consummate,

We slumber not, but watch and wait!

O’er crest and deep a warning call

Hath sought alike the meek and proud:

“Prepare thine heart, the time is nigh,

The Bridegroom cometh in the cloud!”

Oh, speed the word, the hour is late;

Shout from the housetops, watch and wait!

On Israel’s plain the green sprout waves

From Hulah’s marsh to Gaza seas;

Old footpaths, fresh with homing step,

Twine bursting buds on olive trees.

Oh, ancient land, thy rise is great;

Hail the wand’rer, watch and wait!

Grim hosts marshaled on yonder dunes,

With evil moon glint on the blade,

Hush for the captain’s fateful cry

To loose the final fusilade.

Oh, sheath the sword, calm thy hate,

Stay thou the tempest, watch and wait!

The mists ne’er dim an ember eye,

A trembling flank, and rider’s spur.

Hold yet, thou steed, thy flight is with

The pursed lips of the trumpeter.

Oh, horsemen, pressing at the gate,

Thy signal cometh, watch and wait!

Ere the mourning earth doth tremble

And stars depart as in a scroll,

Spare the flaming torch a moment—

A moment yet to cleanse the soul.

Oh, Thou whose fingers hold our fate,

Forget us not who watch and wait!