5Weeping may linger for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
I don’t know where I was exposed to the American Standard Version of 1901, but as far as I know, that’s the one that seems to match the verse in my memory:
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy cometh in the morning.
Or maybe what’s in my memory is a compilation of sources. For I would have sworn that the second line was “joy cometh with the morning” – and ‘with’ matches the RSV that was the Bible of my upbringing.
The poetry matters. Without poetry the text gets flat, pale, pedestrian. It gives a nice honest fact, but loses something of its timeless truth, its eternal promise: We were not made for tears; we were made for joy. Tears come; but there is a morning where tears are wiped away.
I have wept many tears that did not surrender to joy with the calendar morning. But Easter…Easter…Easter does far more than fill one day with the scent of lilies and the sound of great hymns. Easter beckons even as I stand at the graveside. Easter beckons as I comfort the broken. Easter beckons as I stand before brutal injustice. Easter beckons as I witness the devastations of war. Easter presents itself before me with the promise of a morning bedecked with joy. A morning when burdens are lifted and night flees. A morning where light and life reign.
So I prefer the poetry. This verse is not a statement of fact; it is a song of promise. A promise in which I stand. A promise the gives birth to joy. Even in the nights of weeping.