The seven great hymns of the mediaeval church/Dies Iræ/Dix
That day, a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers!—Zephaniah, i. 15, 16.
DAY of vengeance, without morrow!
Earth sall end in flame and sorrow,
As from Saint and Seer we borrow.
Ah! what terror is impending,
When the Judge is seen descending,
And each secret veil is rending.
To the throne, the trumpet sounding,
Through the sepulchres resounding,
Summons all, with voice astounding.
Death and Nature, mazed, are quaking,
When, the grave's long slumber breaking,
Man to judgment is awaking.
On the written Volume's pages,
Life is shown in all its stages—
Judgment-record of past ages!
Sits the Judge, the raised arraigning,
Darkest mysteries explaining,
Nothing unavenged remaining.
What shall I then say, unfriended,
By no advocate attended,
When the just are scarce defended?
King of majesty tremendous,
By Thy saving grace defend us,
Fount of pity, safety send us!
Holy Jesus, meek, forbearing,
For my sins the death-crown wearing,
Save me, in that day, despairing.
Worn and weary, Thou hast fought me;
By Thy cross and passion bought me—
Spare the hope Thy labors brought me.
Righteous Judge of retribution,
Give, O give me absolution
Ere the day of dissolution.
As a guilty culprit groaning,
Flushed my face, my errors owning,
Hear, O God, my spirit's moaning!
Thou to Mary gav'st remission,
Heard'st the dying thief's petition,
Bad'st me hope in my contrition.
In my prayers no grace discerning,
Yet on me Thy favor turning,
Save my soul from endless burning.
Give me, when Thy sleep confiding
Thou art from the goats dividing,
On Thy right a place abiding!
When the wicked are confounded,
And by bitter flames surrounded,
Be my joyful pardon founded!
Prostrate, all my guilt discerning,
Heart as though to ashes turning;
Save, O save me from the burning!
Day of weeping, when from ashes
Man shall rise mid lightning flames,
Guilty, trembling with contrition,
Save him, Father, from perdition!