May your holy angels, O Christ, Son of living God,
Guard our sleep, our rest, our shining bed.
Let them reveal true visions to us in our sleep,
O High Prince of the universe, O great King of the mysteries!
May no demons, no ill, no calamity or terrifying dreams
Disturb our rest, our willing, prompt repose.
May our watch be holy, our work, our task,
Our sleep, our rest without stop, without break.
Source: St. Patrick’s Evensong, translated as prose by Kuno Meyer in Selections from Ancient Irish Poetry, New York, 1911.
Source of this version: Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church, © 2018, Paul C. Stratman
Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church is a collection of prayers from the time of Patrick (d. ca. 460-493) to the Synod of Whitby (664), and also from the Celtic Christian tradition that remained after Whitby. A few of the prayers in this book may be familiar from their appearance in other prayer books. Some may be appearing in English for the first time. All prayers (with one exception) are rendered or revised into contemporary English with the hopes that they will be useful in private and corporate worship. Includes prayers from The Antiphonary of Bangor, The Lorrha-Stowe Missal, The Book of Cerne, The Book of Dimma, St. Patrick, St. Columba and many other sources. Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church is available in paperback through Amazon.com. It is also available for Amazon Kindle.
Version in verse:
Jesus, Son of God most high,
May your holy angels keep
Watch around us as we lie
In our shining beds asleep.
Time’s hid veil with truth to pierce
Let them teach our dreaming eyes,
High King of the Universe,
High Priest of the Mysteries.
May no demon of the air,
May no malice of our foes,
Evil dream or haunting care
Mar our willing, prompt repose!
May our vigils hallowed be
By the tasks we undertake!
May our sleep be fresh and free,
Without stop and without break.
St. Patrick’s Evensong, translated as poetry, from A Celtic Psaltery, New York, 1917.