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The Lord a watchful guardian reigns,
O’er all created souls;
His hand the universe sustains.
His will its course controls.
Conception, at its utmost height,
Can never comprehend,
The glory, majesty, and might,
That in Omniscience blend.
When musing, I at eventide,
The firmament survey,
Whose golden orbs, celestial guide,
Thy wondrous skill display;
In silent adoration lost,
My soul the earth forgets;
Itself, like that immortal host,
A star that never sets.
How great the mercy, vast the love,
Of providence divine;
Who thus created worlds above,
For man’s delight to shine!
Oh! ever in their presence bright,
Devotion stronger grows,
Ascending to the god of light,
Of darkness and repose.
“The Lord a watchful guardian reigns” by Penina Moïse, published in 1842, appears under the subject “Evening” as Hymn 49 in Hymns Written for the Service of the Hebrew Congregation Beth Elohim, South Carolina (Penina Moïse et al., Ḳ.Ḳ. Beth Elohim, 1842), pp. 52-53. In the one copy of this first edition we know to exist, pages 53 through 56 are missing, and so the remaining lines of the fourth stanza and the entirety of the fifth were recovered from the second edition, Hymns Written for the Use of Hebrew Congregations (Penina Moïse et al., Ḳ.Ḳ. Beth Elohim, 1856), p. 140, where it appears as Hymn 143. Punctuation and capitalization for these lines are provided as found under the conventions of the first edition. –Aharon Varady
“The Lord a Watchful Guardian Reigns, a hymn on “Evening” by Penina Moïse (Ḳ.Ḳ. Beth Elohim 1842)” is shared through the Open Siddur Project with a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication 1.0 Universal license.
Works of related interest:
Refreshed By Sleep, That Sovereign Balm – a hymn on “Morning” by Penina Moïse (Ḳ.Ḳ. Beth Elohim 1842)
The Sun Shines On With Glorious Light, a hymn on Divine Providence in Relation to Israel by Cordelia Moïse Cohen (Ḳ.Ḳ. Beth Elohim 1842)
Eternal Love is Thine, a hymn for Yom Kippur by Caroline de Litchfield Harby (Ḳ.Ḳ. Beth Elohim 1842)
Oh! That on Morning’s Dewy Wings, a hymn on “Submission to the Will of God” by Penina Moïse (Ḳ.Ḳ. Beth Elohim 1842)