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The duteous day now closes;
Each flower and tree reposes;
Shade creeps o’er wild and wood.
Let us, as night is falling,
On You, our Maker calling,
Give thanks to You, the Giver good.
Now all the heav’nly splendor
Breaks forth in starlight tender
From myriad worlds unknown;
And we, Your marvel seeing,
Forget our selfish being
For joy of beauty not our own.
Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676) was a German hymn writer, trained to be a Lutheran pastor during the religious conflicts of the 17th century in Germany. He is known as the “sweet singer of Lutheranism” and credited with writing more than 100 hymns and chorales. In the face of political pressure to repudiate certain Lutheran beliefs, he was unwilling to compromise even when it caused him to lose church employment.