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Across the sky the shades of night
this winter's eve are fleeting.
We come to thee, the life and light,
in solemn worship meeting,
and as the year's last hours go by
we lift to thee our earnest cry,
once more thy love entreating.
Before the cross subdued we bow,
to thee our prayers addressing;
recounting all thy mercies now,
and all our sins confessing;
beseeching thee, this coming year,
to hold in us thy faith and fear,
and crown us with thy blessing.
We gather up in this brief hour
the memory of thy mercies;
thy wondrous goodness, love, and power
our grateful song rehearses;
for thou hast been our strength and stay
in many a dark and dreary day
of sorrow and reverses.
Then, O great God, in years to come,
whatever fate betide us,
right onward through our journey home
be thou at hand to guide us;
nor leave us till, at close of life,
safe from peril, toil and strife,
Heaven shall receive and hide us.
James Hamilton (1819-1896)