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Dawn purples all the East with light

Dawn purples all the East with light

Author: St. Ambrose; Translator: J. M. Neale
Published in 8 hymnals

Representative Text

1 Dawn purples all the east with light;
Day o'er the earth is gliding bright;
Morn's sparkling rays their course begin;
Farewell to darkness and to sin!

2 Each evil dream of night, depart,
Each thought of guilt, forsake the heart!
Let every ill that darkness brought
Beneath its shade, now come to naught!

3 So that last morning, dread and great,
Which we with trembling hope await,
With blesséd light for us shall glow,
Who chant the song we learnt below.

4 O Father, that we ask be done,
Through Jesus Christ, Thine only Son;
who, with the Holy Ghost and Thee,
Shall live and reign eternally.

Source: Hymnal: according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America #354

Author: St. Ambrose

Ambrosius (St. Ambrose), second son and third child of Ambrosius, Prefect of the Gauls, was born at Lyons, Aries, or Treves--probably the last--in 340 A.D. On the death of his father in 353 his mother removed to Rome with her three children. Ambrose went through the usual course of education, attaining considerable proficiency in Greek; and then entered the profession which his elder brother Satyrus had chosen, that of the law. In this he so distinguished himself that, after practising in the court of Probus, the Praetorian Prefect of Italy, he was, in 374, appointed Consular of Liguria and Aemilia. This office necessitated his residence in Milan. Not many months after, Auxentius, bishop of Milan, who had joined the Arian party, died; and m… Go to person page >

Translator: J. M. Neale

Neale, John Mason, D.D., was born in Conduit Street, London, on Jan. 24, 1818. He inherited intellectual power on both sides: his father, the Rev. Cornelius Neale, having been Senior Wrangler, Second Chancellor's Medallist, and Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, and his mother being the daughter of John Mason Good, a man of considerable learning. Both father and mother are said to have been "very pronounced Evangelicals." The father died in 1823, and the boy's early training was entirely under the direction of his mother, his deep attachment for whom is shown by the fact that, not long before his death, he wrote of her as "a mother to whom I owe more than I can express." He was educated at Sherborne Grammar School, and was afterwards… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Dawn purples all the East with light
Latin Title: Aurora jam spargit polum
Author: St. Ambrose
Translator: J. M. Neale
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Dawn sprinkles all the East with light. [Translation of Aurora jam spargit polum. This hymn is ascribed to St. Ambrose; but, not being quoted by early writers, it is not received as certainly genuine by the Benedictine editors; it may be his nevertheless.] Contributed to the Hymnal Noted, 1852, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines. It is also No. 13 of Skinner's Daily Service Hymnal; and as "Dawn purples all the east with light," in the Hymnal of the American Protestant Episcopal Church, 1872. From the fact of its appearing in the Hymnal Noted it has usually been attributed to Dr. Neale. On his own authority this is an error. ("S. MSS.") -- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Antiphon, p. 73, i. (iii. 2). The seven greater Antiphons are found in an 11th century manuscript in the British Museum (Harl. 2961, f. 10); and in a manuscript of the llth century, in the Bodleian (Liturg. Misc. 366, f. 53&). The metrical form “Veni, veni Emmanuel" (p. 74, l. 4) has not yet b…

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Instances (1 - 8 of 8)
Page Scan

A Selection of Hymns #405

Page Scan

Hymnal and Canticles of the Protestant Episcopal Church with Music (Gilbert & Goodrich) #354


Hymnal #354

Page Scan

Hymnal #354

Page Scan

The Church Hymnal with Canticles #354

Page Scan

The Hymnal #354

Page Scan

The World's Best Hymns #67

The World's Best Hymns. (New ed.) #128

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