Scripture Verse

A day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness. Zephaniah 1:15


Arthur P. Stanley (1815–1881)

Words: At­trib­ut­ed to Tho­mas of Ce­la­no, 13th Cen­tu­ry (Di­es Iræ). Trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by Ar­thur P. Stan­ley in Mac­mill­an’s Ma­ga­zine, 1868.

Music: Rey­nold­stone Ti­mo­thy R. Mat­thews (1826–1910) (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

Timothy R. Matthews (1826–1910)


Day of wrath, O dread­ful day!
When this world shall pass away,
And the hea­vens to­ge­ther roll,
Shriveling like a parch­èd scroll,
Long fore­told by saint and sage,
David’s harp and si­byl’s page.

Day of ter­ror, day of doom,
When at last the Judge shall come!
Through the deep and si­lent gloom,
Shrouding ev­ery hu­man tomb,
Shall the arch­an­gel’s trum­pet tone
Summon all be­fore the throne.

Then shall na­ture stand aghast,
Death him­self be ov­er­cast;
Then, at her cre­at­or’s call,
Near and dist­ant, great and small,
Shall the whole cre­ation rise
Waiting for the Great As­size.

Then the writ­ing shall be read,
Which shall judge the quick and dead;
Then the Lord of all our race
Shall ap­point to each his place;
Every wrong shall be set right,
Every sec­ret brought to light.

When in that tre­men­dous day,
Heaven and earth shall pass away,
What shall I, the sin­ner, say?
When the right­eous shrinks for fear,
How shall my frail soul ap­pear?

King of kings, en­throned on high,
In Thine aw­ful ma­jes­ty,
Thou who of Thy mer­cy free
Savest those who saved shall be:
In Thy bound­less cha­ri­ty,
Fount of pi­ty, save Thou me.

O re­mem­ber, Sav­ior dear,
What the cause that brought Thee here;
All Thy long and toil­some way
Was for me who went as­tray:
When that day at last is come,
Call, O call, the wan­der­er home

Thou in search of me didst sit
Weary with the noon­day heat;
Thou to save my soul hast borne
Cross and grief, and hate and scorn;
O may all that toil and pain
Not be whol­ly spent in vain!

O just Judge, to whom be­longs,
Vengeance for all earth­ly wrongs,
Grant for­giv­eness, Lord, at last,
Ere the dread ac­count be past;
Lo! my sighs, my guilt, my shame!
Spare me for Thine own great name!

Thou, who bad’st the sin­ner cease
From her tears and go in peace,
Thou, who to the dy­ing thief
Spakest par­don and re­lief,
Thou, O Lord, to me hast giv­en,
E’en to me, the hope of Hea­ven.

Naught of Thee my pray­ers can claim,
Save in Thy free mer­cy’s name;
Worthless is each tear and cry;
Yet, good Lord, in grace com­ply,
Spare me; cause me not go
Into ev­er­last­ing woe.

Make me with Thy sheep to stand,
Severed from the guil­ty band;
When the cursed con­demned shall be,
With the blest then call thou me;
Contrite, in the dust, I pray,
Save me in that aw­ful day.

Full of tears, and full of dread,
Is the day that wakes the dead,
Calling all, with so­lemn blast,
From the ash­es of the past;
Lord of mer­cy, Je­sus blest,
Grant us Thine eter­nal rest.