Just and devout old Simeon lived;
to him it was revealed,
That Christ, the Lord, his eyes should see
ere death his eyelids sealed.
For this consoling gift of Heav'n
to Isr'el's fallen state,
From year to year, with patient hope
the aged saint did wait.
Nor did he wait in vain; for, lo!
revolving years brought round,
In season due, the happy day,
which all his wishes crowned.
When Jesus, to the temple brought
by Mary's pious care,
As Heav'n's appointed rites required,
to God was offered there,
Simeon into those sacred courts
a heav'nly impulse drew;
He saw the Virgin hold her Son,
and straight his Lord he knew.
With holy joy upon his face
the good old father smiled;
Then fondly in his withered arms
he clasped the promised child:
And while he held the heav'n-born Babe,
ordained to bless mankind,
Thus spoke, with earnest look,
and heart exulting, yet resigned:
Now, Lord! according to thy word,
let me in peace depart;
Mine eyes have thy salvation seen,
and gladness fills my heart.
At length my arms embrace my Lord,
now let their vigour cease;
At last my eyes my Saviour see,
now let them close in peace.
This great salvation, long prepared,
and now disclosed to view,
Hath proved thy love was constant still,
and promises were true.
That Sun I now behold, whose light
shall heathen darkness chase,
And rays of brightest glory pour
around thy chosen race.