The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Royal Day That Chasest Gloom

For Christmas

Dies est lętitię from Hopkins, ed., Great Hymns of the Church Compiled by the Late Right Reverend John Freeman Young, with sheet music.
or
Dies est leticie

Words: German, XIV Cent. 
Translation by Rev. John Mason Neale who noted "Of the 13th or 14th century. A great favourite all over Europe. Germany and Holland had ancient translations. Luther regarded it as inspired."
Compare:  Royal Day That Chasest Gloom from Neale and Helmore, "Medieval Hymns,' p. 65.

Music: Rev. Thomas Helmore, Piae Cantiones, 1582.
Additional Melody from Koler's Ruefbuechl (MS.), 1601, as given by Bäumker. Harmony by the Rev. G. R. Woodward.

Source: John Mason Neale and Thomas Helmore, Carols for Christmas-tide (London: Novello, 1853), in Collected Hymns, Sequences and Carols (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1914).
Republished in this form in The
People's Hymnal. Sixth Edition. (London: J. Masters and Co., 1876, 1877), No. 34, p. 14.

1. Royal Day that chasest gloom,
    Day by gladness speeded:
Thou beheld'st from Mary's womb
    How the King proceeded:
Very God, Who made the sky,
Set the sun and stars on high,
    Heav'n and earth sustaining:
Very man, Who freely bare,
Toil and sorrow, woe and care,
    Man's salvation gaining.

2. As the sun-beam through the glass
    Passeth, but not staineth;
Thus the Virgin, as she was,
    Virgin still remaineth;
Blessed Mother! in whose womb
Lay the Light that exiles gloom,
    God to earth descending:
Blessed Main! whose spotless breast
Gives the King of Glory rest,
    Nurture, warmth, and tending.

3. Christ, Who mad'st us out of dust,
    Breath and spirit giving:
Christ, from Whose dear steps we must
    Pattern take of living:
Christ, Who camest once to save
From the curse and from the grave,
    Healing, light'ning, cheering:
Christ, Who now wast made as we,
Grand that we may be like Thee
    In Thy next appearing.

Sheet Music from John Mason Neale and Thomas Helmore, Carols for Christmas-tide: The Condensed Vocal Parts (London: Novello, 1854), pp. 31-33.

Royal_Day-Cond_Vocals-01.jpg (93200 bytes) Royal_Day-Cond_Vocals-02.jpg (88994 bytes) Royal_Day-Cond_Vocals-03.jpg (84431 bytes)

Sheet Music from George Ratcliffe Woodward, ed., The Cowley Carol Book For Christmas, Easter, and Ascensiontide, First Series (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd, 1902, Revised And Enlarged Edition, 1929), Carol #18
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML

Sheet Music from Rev. J. Freeman Young, ed., Carols for Christmas Tide (New York: Daniel Dana, Jr., 1859), #6

This arrangement is the same as that which follows:

Sheet Music from J. H. Hopkins, ed., Great Hymns of the Church Compiled by the Late Right Reverend John Freeman Young (New York: James Pott & Company, 1887), #71, pp. 110-1.

"Original Melody.
Harmonized by Hermann R. Schrœder"

Young gives the title as "Dies est lętitię"

Note from Neale in Medieval Hymns:

"A German carol; — at least it does not seem to have been used in the offices of the Church. It is perhaps scarcely worth mentioning that Luther believed it inspired."

Note From Rev. Neale.

In the notes to the first carol, "Here Is Joy For Every Age," Rev. Neale noted: "A translation, or free imitation, as are most (in this collection.)" In the Preface to the First Edition, Rev. Neale wrote that only Good King Wenceslas and Toll! Toll! are original.

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.