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[Thomas of Celano]
Dies Irae
trans. William Richardson, 2004.

The day of wrath, that special day,
will dissolve this age into ash:
as David and the Sibyl bear witness.
What a trembling there will be
when the judge is about to appear,

          5

so as to scatter all things impartially!
The trumpet, sending forth its marvellous sound
through the tombs of all countries,
will summon everyone before the throne.
Death and Nature will stand amazed

10

when the created being will rise up
to answer to the judge.
The written book will be brought forth,
the book that contains everything,
by which the world will be judged.

15

So when the judge takes his seat
everything hidden will be brought to light:
nothing will remain unavenged.
What shall I, poor wretch, then say?
Whom shall I ask to be my patron,

20

when even the just is not safe?
O king of awesome majesty,
who freely save those who will be saved,
o fount of piety, save me.
Remember, faithful Jesus,

25

that I am the cause of your journey:
do not abandon me on that day.
Seeking me, you sat in weariness:
you suffered the cross and redeemed me:
let not such toil be in vain.

30

Justly, o avenging judge,
grant me the gift of remission
before the day of reckoning.
I groan as one guilty:
my face grows red with my fault:

35

spare your suppliant, o God.
You who pardoned Mary,
and paid heed to the robber,
have given hope to me as well.
My prayers are not worthy:

40

but please, of your goodness, deal kindly
lest I burn in eternal fire.
Grant me a place among the sheep,
and set me apart from the goats,
placing me at your right hand.

45

Having confuted the accursed
and consigned them to the flames,
summon me with your blessed ones.
Bowed down in supplication I pray,
my heart contrite as if it were ash:

50

take thought for my fate.
That day of tears
on which the accused shall rise
from the ash to be judged.
So spare your suppliant, o God:

55

o faithful Lord Jesus,
grant them rest. Amen.


FORUM ROMANUM