1 Day of wrath, that day whose knelling
Gives to flame this earthly dwelling;
Psalm and prophet thus foretelling.
Oh, what agony of trembling,
When the Judge mankind assembling,
Probeth all beyond dissembling.
2 Pealing wondrous through the regions,
Shall the trumpet force obedience,
And the graves yield up their legions.
Startled death and nature sicken,
Thus to see the creature quicken,
Waiting judgment terror-stricken.
3 Open, then, with all recorded,
Stands the book from whence awarded
Doom shall pass with deed accorded.
When the Judge is throned in session,
All things hid shall find confession,
Unavenged be no transgression,
4 Wretch, what then shall be my pleading?
Who my patron interceding?
Scarce the just securely speeding.
Thou, O King of awful splendor,
Saving grace dost freely render;
Save me, fount of pity tender.
5 Think, ’twas I, my lost condition,
Caused, O pitying Lord, Thy mission;
Spare my soul that day’s perdition.
Seeking me, Thy footstep hasted;
Me to save, the cross was tasted;
Be not toil so mighty wasted.
6 Righteous Judge of retribution,
Grant the gift of absolution
Ere the day of restitution.
Me my culprit heart accuses;
Inmost guilt my face suffuses;
Heal, O Lord, Thy suppliant’s bruises.
7 Thou who Mary’s sin hast shriven,
Thou who broughtst the thief to Heaven,
Hope to me hast also given.
Nothing worth is mine endeavor,
Yet, in ruth, my soul deliver
From the flame that burns for ever.
8 With Thy sheep, Thy chosen, place me,
Severed from the goats embrace me;
On Thy right hand, ransomed, place me.
When the reprobate confounded
Lie with wrathful fire surrounded,
May my call to bliss be sounded.
9 Crushed to dust and prostrate bending,
All my heart contrition rending;
I implore Thee, guard my ending.
Oh, that awful day of mourning,
When, from earthly dust returning,
Guilty man shall bide his sentence.
Thomas of Celano was born at Celano in the Abruzzi, and joined St. Francis of Assisi c. 1214. He was commissioned by Gregory IX to write the life of St. Francis: the First Legend, 1229; the Second Legend, 1247; and the Tract on the Miracle of St. Francis a few years later. His Legend of St. Clare was composed in 1255. He was probably among the first band of friars to visit Germany, 1221.
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Display Title: Day Of WrathFirst Line: Day of wrath, that day whose knellingTune Title: DIES IRAEAuthor: Thomas of Celano, 13th Century; John O'HaganMeter: 888 DSource: Tr.: The Irish Monthly Vol. 2 (1874), alt.