Day of anger, that dread day. By H. Alford, from the Paris Missal. The opening stanza of this translation [of Dies irae, dies illa] is:—
”Day of anger, that dread day
Shall the sign in Heav'n display,
And the earth in ashes lay."
It appeared in his Psalms & Hymns, 1844, in two parts, the second beginning, "Thou didst toil my soul to gain"; and was repeated in his Year of Praise, 1867. In Windle's Hymnal, No. 83, there is given a cento from this translation into which many alterations are introduced, and a refrain is added to each stanza which is altogether new to the hymn. The cento in the Marlborough School Collection, 1869, No. 49, beginning with the first line from I. Williams, is from this translation but greatly altered. Dean Alford's translation is also given in a few American hymn-books.
--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)