That fearful Day, that Day of speechless dread,
When Thou shalt come to judge the quick and dead—
I shudder to foresee,
O GOD! what then shall be!
When Thou shalt come, angelic legions round,
With thousand thousands, and with trumpet sound,
CHRIST, grant me in the air
With saints to meet Thee there!
Weep, O my soul, ere that great hour and day,
When GOD shall shine in manifest array,
Thy sin, that thou may’st be
In that strict judgment free!
The terror!—hell-fire fierce and unsufficed:
The bitter worm: the gnashing teeth:—O CHRIST,
Forgive, remit, protect;
And set me with the elect!
That I may hear the blessed voice that calls
The righteous to the joy of heavenly halls.
And, King of Heaven, may reach
The realm that passeth speech!
Enter Thou not in judgment with each deed,
Nor each intent and thought in strictness read:
Forgive, and save me then,
O Thou That lovest men!
Thee, One in Three blest Persons! LORD o’er all!
Essence of essence, Power of power. we call!
Save us, O FATHER, SON,
And SPIRIT, ever one!
Translator: John Mason Neale (1862)
Author: Saint Theodore, Studites (826)