The seven great hymns of the mediaeval church/Dies Iræ/Irons
DAY of Wrath! O Day of mourning!
See! once more the Cross returning,
Heav'n and earth in ashes burning!
O what fear man's bosom rendeth,
When from Heav'n the Judge descendeth,
On whose sentence all dependeth!
Wondrous sound the Trumpet flingeth,
Through earth's sepulchres it ringeth,
All before the throne it bringeth!
Death is struck, and nature quaking,
All creation is awaking,
To its Judge an answer making!
Lo, the Book, exactly worded!
Wherein all hath been recorded;
Thence shall judgment be awarded.
When the Judge His seat attaineth,
And each hidden deed arraigneth,
Nothing unaveng'd remaineth.
What shall I, frail man, be pleading,
Who for me be interceding,
When the just are mercy needing?
King of majesty tremendous,
Who dost free salvation send us,
Fount of pity! then befriend us!
Think! Kind Jesu, my salvation
Caus'd Thy wondrous Incarnation;
Leave me not to reprobation!
Faint and weary Thou hast sought me,
On the Cross of suffering bought me;
Shall such grace be vainly brought me!
Righteous Judge of retribution,
Grant Thy gift of absolution,
Ere that reck'ning day's conclusion!
Guilty, now I pour my moaning,
All my shame with anguish owning;
Spare, O God, Thy suppliant, groaning!
Thou, the sinful woman savest,
Thou, the dying thief forgavest;
And to me a hope vouchsafest!
Worthless are my pray'rs and sighing,
Yet, good Lord, in grace complying,
Rescue me from fires undying!
With Thy favor'd sheep, O place me!
Nor among the goats abase me;
But to Thy right hand upraise me.
While the wicked are confounded,
Doom'd to flames of woe unbounded,
Call me! with Thy saints surrounded.
Low I kneel, with heart submission;
See, like ashes, my contrition;
Help me, in my last condition!
Ah! that Day of tears and mourning!
From the dust of earth returning,
Man for judgment must prepare him;
Spare! O God, in mercy, spare him!
Lord, who didst our souls redeem,
Grant a blessed Requiem! Amen.