Wake, Awake for Night is Flying is a translation by Catherine Winkworth of J.S. Bach’s Wachet Auf. The chorale is from Bach’s cantata BWV 140.
Wake, awake, for night is flying,
The watchmen on the heights are crying,
Awake, Jerusalem, arise!
Midnight’s solemn hour is tolling,
His chariot wheels are nearer rolling,
He comes; prepare, ye virgins wise.
Rise up with willing feet
Go forth, the bridegroom meet; alleluia!
Bear through the night your well-trimmed light,
Speed forth to join the marriage rite.
Zion hears the watchmen singing,
Her heart with deep delight is springing,
She wakes, she rises from her gloom;
Forth her bridegroom comes, all-glorious,
In grace arrayed, by truth victorious;
Her star is risen, her light is come!
All hail, incarnate lord,
Our crown, and our reward! alleluia!
We haste along, in pomp and song,
And gladsome join the marriage throng.
Lamb of god, the heavens adore thee,
And men and angels sing before thee,
With harp and cymbal’s clearest tone.
By the pearly gates in wonder
We stand, and swell the voice of thunder,
That echoes round thy dazzling throne.
No vision ever brought,
No ear hath ever caught,
Such bliss and joy;
We raise the song, we swell the throng,
To praise thee ages all along.
For good measure, here is a recording of Bach’s Cantata No 140: