This hymn is used for Compline throughout the year on each weekday in both Forms of the Roman Breviary. It was also used for Compline in throughout the year except where otherwise specified in the Sarum Breviary .
This is the text of this hymn as it appears in Hymns Ancient & Modern (1867):
Before the ending of the day,
Creator of the world, we pray
That Thou with wonted love would’st keep
Thy watch around us while we sleep.
O let no evil dreams be near,
Nor phantoms of the night appear;
Our ghostly enemy restrain,
Lest aught of sin our bodies stain.
Almighty Father, hear our cry,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord most High,
Who, with the Holy Ghost and Thee,
Doth live and reign eternally. Amen.
Words: Latin, ca. 6th C.;* tr. John Mason Neale, altered by the compilers of Hymns Ancient and Modern.
Tune: “Te Lucis Ante Terminum” Gregorian Chant, Mode VIII, traditional.
*Hymns Ancient and Modern attributes this hymn to St. Ambrose
The original Latin text of this hymn may be found here.