The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

That Day Of Wrath, That Dreadful Day

For Second Advent

Words: Dies iræ, dies illa, Thomas of Celano, Order of Friars Minor, Thirteenth Century.
Translation:  Sir Walter Scott, 1805

Music: Numerous tunes have been created for this text.
Meter: LM

Source: Walter Scott, The Lay of the Last Minstrel: A Poem, (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme; Edinburgh: A Constable and Co., 1805; Printer: James Ballantyne, Edinburgh.), Canto VI, XXXII, pp. 192-193.


1. That day of wrath, that dreadful day,
When heaven and earth shall pass away,
What power shall be the sinner's stay?
How shall he meet that dreadful day?

2. When, shrivelling like a parched scroll,
The flaming heavens together roll;
When louder yet, and yet more dread,
Swells the high trump that wakes the dead!

3. O! on that day, that wrathful day,
When man to judgment wakes from clay,
Be Thou the trembling sinner's stay,
Though heaven and earth shall pass away!


In the first publication of 1805, the words "Be Thou" were in small caps.

This section is XXXII, and not XXXI as commonly seen.

At Hymntime, a number of tunes were suggested for this text including:

All have associated an MIDI file, a score in Adobe PDF format, and a score in NoteWorthy Composer format. See: That Day of Wrath.

Print Page Return Home Page Close Window

If you would like to help support Hymns and Carols of Christmas, please click on the button below and make a donation.

Related Hymns and Carols