The bell strikes one. We take no note of time But from its loss. To give it then a tongue Is wise in man. As if an angel spoke, I feel the solemn sound. If heard aright, It is the knell of my departed hours: Where are they? With the years beyond the flood. It is the signal that demands despatch: How much is to be done? My hopes and fears Start up alarm’d, and o’er life’s narrow verge Look down—on what? a fathomless abyss; A dread eternity! how surely mine! And can eternity belong to me, Poor pensioner on the bounties of an hour? How poor, how rich, how abject, how august, How complicate, how wonderful, is man! How passing wonder He who made him such! Who centred in our make such strange extremes! From different natures marvellously mix’d, Connexion exquisite of distant worlds! Distinguish’d link in being’s endless chain! Midway from nothing to the Deity!" From "Night Thoughts" by Edward Young. Edward Young was a contemporary of Samuel Johnson so did not know the mixed blessing of electric lighting! George Gilfillan, his editor of 1853, described,'his lonely lamp shining at midnight, like a star, through the darkness, and seeming to answer the far signal of those mightier luminaries which are burning above in the Great Bear and Orion.' Surely he had a few sleepless nights. We can turn to Saint Paul for further comment.
5 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. (1 Thessalonians 5:2-10)