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Milgrove was Precentor of the Countess of Huntingdon's Chapel in Bath (see illustration). This setting comes from "Twelve hymns and a favourite lyric poem written by Doctor Watts; set to music for four, and five voices, with organ accompaniments.... " Printed for the author, and sold at his house in Bond Street, Bath, 1781. The general congregation (sometimes divided into men and women) should sing the Air, accompanying harmonies to be taken by the choir.

Lyrics: Augustus Toplady

What tho' my frail eyelids refuse
Continually watching to keep,
And punctual as midnight renews
Demand the refreshment of sleep:
A sov'reign protector I have,
Unseen yet for ever at hand,
Unchangeably faithful to save,
Almighty to rule and command.

From evil secure, and its dread,
I rest if my saviour is nigh;
And songs his kind presence indeed
Shall in the night season supply:
He smiles, and my comforts abound;
His grace at the dew shall descend;
And walls of salvation surround
The soul he delights to defend.

Kind author and ground of my hope,
Thee, Thee for my God I avow;
My glad Ebenezer, set up:
And own, thou hast helped me till now.
I muse on the years that are past,
Wherein my defence thou hast prov'd;
Nor wilt thou relinquish at last,
A sinner so signally loved.

Inspirer and hearer of pray'r,
Thou feeder and guardian of thine,
My all to thy covenant-care
I, sleeping and waking, resign;
If thou art my shield and my sun,
The night is no darkness to me;
And, fast as my moments roll on,
They bring me but nearer to thee

Thy minist'ring spirits descend,
To watch while thy saints are asleep;
By day and by night they attend,
The heirs of salvation to keep:
Bright seraphs, dispatch'd from the throne,
Repair to their stations assign'd;
And angels elect are sent down,
To guard the elect of mankind.

Thy worship no interval knows;
Their fervour is still on the wing;
And, while they protect my repose,
They chaunt to the praise of my king;
I too, as the season ordain'd,
Their chorus for ever shall join,
And love and adore, without end,
Their faithful creator, and mine.

Benjamin Milgrove
(1731 - 1810)

Milgrove : What tho' my frail eyelids refuse : illustration


What tho' my frail eyelids refuse

(S.A.T.B.Kbd.)

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