I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood, and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. Revelation 6:12–14
Words: Verse 1, from the oratorio Samson, by George F. Handel, 1741. Verses 2–4 by Richard W. Adams, August 20, 2017.
The words came to me as I was musing on the solar eclipse that was to traverse North America the next day.
© 2017–2019 Richard W. Adams
Music: Folkingham, from Supplement to the New Version, by Nahum Tate & Nicholas Brady, 1700 (🔊 pdf nwc).
Total eclipse! No sun, no moon!
All dark amidst the blaze of noon!
Oh, glorious light! No cheering ray
To glad my eyes with welcome day!
Why thus deprived Thy prime decree?
Sun, moon, and stars are dark to me!
I search God’s Word, and there I see
The day will come when signs these be;
The moon confounded, sun ashamed,
The stars withdrawn, the heav’ns in flame;
The oceans roar as nations fight,
And clouds and smoke turn day to night.
O Lord, You are our strength and stay,
Protect us in that awful day;
When heav’n departs, a worn out scroll,
When islands move from pole to pole;
When rocks and mountains cannot save
The guilty from the yawning grave.
But those who call upon the Lord,
His arm will save, will help afford;
He is a refuge, covert, tower,
Not hell or earth can overpower;
For those washed clean in Jesus’ blood,
He keeps them safe above the flood.