That day of wrath, that dreadful day,
shall heaven and earth in ashes lay,
as David and the Sybil say.
What horror must invade the mind
when the approaching Judge shall find
and sift the deeds of all mankind!
The mighty trumpet's wondrous tone
shall rend each tomb's sepulchral stone
and summon all before the Throne.
Now death and nature with surprise
behold the trembling sinners rise
to meet the Judge's searching eyes.
Then shall with universal dread
the Book of Seven Seals be read
to judge the lives of all the dead.
For now before the Judge severe
all hidden things must plain appear;
no crime can pass unpunished here.
O what shall I, so guilty plead?
and who for me will intercede?
when even Saints shall comfort need?
O King of dreadful majesty!
grace and mercy You grant free;
as Fount of Kindness, save me!
Recall, dear Jesus, for my sake
you did our suffering nature take
then do not now my soul forsake!
In weariness You sought for me,
and suffering upon the tree!
let not in vain such labor be.
O Judge of justice, hear, I pray,
for pity take my sins away
before the dreadful reckoning day.
You gracious face, O Lord, I seek;
deep shame and grief are on my cheek;
in sighs and tears my sorrows speak.
You Who did Mary's guilt unbind,
and mercy for the robber find,
have filled with hope my anxious mind.
How worthless are my prayers I know,
yet, Lord forbid that I should go
into the fires of endless woe.
Divorced from the accursed band,
o make me with Your sheep to stand,
as child of grace, at Your right Hand.
When the doomed can no more flee
from the fires of misery
with the chosen call me.
Before You, humbled, Lord, I lie,
my heart like ashes, crushed and dry,
assist me when I die.
Full of tears and full of dread
is that day that wakes the dead,
calling all, with solemn blast
to be judged for all their past.
Lord, have mercy, Jesus blest,
grant them all Your Light and Rest.
Thomas of Celano
Day of wrath and doom impending,
David’s word with Sibyl’s blending!
Heaven and earth in ashes ending!
O what fear man’s bosom rendeth
When from heaven the Judge descendeth,
On whose sentence all dependeth!
Wondrous sound the trumpet flingeth,
Through earth’s sepulchers 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 unavenged 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
Caused 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! for sin’s pollution
Grant Thy gift of absolution,
Ere that day of retribution.
Guilty, now I pour my moaning,
All my shame with anguish owning;
Spare, O God, Thy suppliant groaning!
Through the sinful woman shriven,
Through the dying thief forgiven,
Thou to me a hope hast given.
Worthless are my prayers and sighing,
Yet, good Lord, in grace complying,
Rescue me from fires undying.
With Thy favored sheep O place me,
Nor among the goats abase me,
But to Thy right hand upraise me.
While the wicked are confounded,
Doomed to flames of woe unbounded,
Call me with Thy Saints surrounded.
Low I kneel, with heart submission,
Crushed to ashes in contrition;
Help me in my last condition!
Ah! that day of tears and morning!
From the dust of earth returning,
Man for judgment must prepare him;
Spare, O God, in mercy spare him!
Lord all-pitying, Jesu Blest,
Grant them Thine eternal rest.