The seven great hymns of the mediaeval church/Dies Iræ/Slosson
DAY of wrath! of days That Day!
Earth in flames shall melt away,
Psalmist thus and Sibyl say.
What swift terrors then shall fall,
When descends the Judge of all,
Every action to recall!
When the trump, with wondrous tone
Through the graves of nations gone,
Bids the race confront the Throne.
Death shall die—fair nature too;
As the creature, ris'n anew,
Answers to his God's review.
He the scroll of fate shall spread,
Writ with all things done or said,
Thence to judge th' awaken'd dead.
Lo! He takes His seat of light;
All that's dark shall leap to sight,
Guilt, the sword of vengeance smite.
What can I, then, wretched, plead?
Who will mediate in my need
When the just shall scarce succeed?
King majestic! Sovereign dread!
Saving all for whom He bled,
Save Thou me! Salvation's Head!
Holy Jesus! priceless stay!
Think! for me Thy bleeding way!
Lose me not, upon That Day.
Faint and weary, Thou hast sought,
By the Cross, my crown hast bought;
Can such anguish be for naught?
Oh! avenging Judge severe,
Grant remission, full and clear,
Ere th' accounting day appear.
Like a guilty thing I moan,
Flush'd my cheek, my sins I own,
Hear, O God, Thy suppliant's groan!
Magdalen found grace with Thee,
So the thief upon the tree;
Hope Thou givest e'en to me.
Worthless are my vows, I know,
Yet, dear Lord, Thy pity show,
Lest I sink in endless woe.
From the goats my lot divide,
With Thy lambs a place provide,
On Thy right and near Thy side.
When th' accursèd sink in shame,
Given to tormenting flame,
With Thy blessed call my name.
Bowed to earth, I strive in prayer;
Heart like cinders, see, I bear;
Its last throbbing be Thy care!
Ah! That Day of burning tears,
When from ashes reappears
Man all guilt, his doom to bear—
Spare him, God! in mercy, spare!