Out upon the rocky rampart
Unnoticed and alone
Sits the virgin watchman.
Her tears do not distort the view;
She waits and through them watches
Like Anna and old Simeon
Knowing day does come.
She waits and works and watches
Writing plain upon her tablet
Crying for the day
When sons shall run
And darkness flee away.
Before his ear can hear it,
Before his eye can see it,
He perceives the coming.
From lonely heights atop the wall
The watchman waits and scans the sky
For bird or cloud or dust or smoke.
He feels and knows, yet does not see.
He looks below at brick and earth
And gropes the ground for movement there.
There’s something in the air beyond,
A song or distant melody
Beyond the audit of his ears, a most familiar strain.
Perceive he must, and grips his silver trumpet fast.
The blast he may not sound too soon,
Or, “Wolf,” would be the cry.
With trembling hand and firming lip
He lifts the trumpet to his mouth.
The time has come for war.
For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey,
who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work,
and commanded the porter to watch.
Watch ye therefore:
for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
And what I say unto you I say unto all,