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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Author Unknown

Dies Iræ

Translation of Edward Slosson

DAY of wrath! of days that Day!

Earth in flames shall pass away,

Heathen seers with prophets say.

What swift terrors then shall fall,

When descends the Judge of all,

Every action to recall.

Hark! the trump, with wondrous tone,

Wakes the graves of nations gone,

Forcing all before the Throne.

Death shall die—fair nature too,

When the creature, risen anew,

Answers to his God’s review.

He the fatal scroll shall spread,

Writ with all things done or said,

Thence to judge th’ awakened dead.

Lo! he takes his seat of light:

All that’s dark shall leap to sight,

Guilt, the sword of vengeance smite.

What shall I, then, wretched plead?

Who will mediate in my need,

When the just shall scarce succeed?

King majestic! Sovereign dread!

Saving all for whom He bled,

Save thou me, Salvation’s head!

Holy Jesus! priceless stay!

Think! for me thy bleeding way!

Lose me not, upon that day.

Faint and weary, thou hast sought—

By the cross, my crown hast bought:

Can such anguish be for naught?

Oh! avenging Judge severe,

Grant remission, full and clear,

Ere th’ accounting day appear.

Like a guilty thing I moan;

Flushed my cheek, my sins I own:

Hear, O God, thy suppliant’s groan.

Magdalen found grace with thee,

So the thief upon the tree;

Hope too thou hast breathed in me.

Worthless are my vows, I know,

Yet, dear Lord, thy mercy show,

Lest I sink in endless woe.

From the goats my lot divide;

With thy lambs a place provide,

On thy right and near thy side.

When th’ accursed sink in shame,

Given to tormenting flame,

With thy blessed write my name.

Bowed to earth, I strive in prayer;

Heart like cinders, see, I bear,—

Its last throbbing be thy care!

Ah, that day of burning tears!

When from ashes reappears

Man all guilt, his doom to bear—

Spare him, God! in mercy spare!