DIE, DIERUM PRINCIPE
By Charles Coffin, born at Ardennes in 1676; Rector of
the University of Paris, 1718; died, 1749. The most of
his hymns appeared in the Paris Breviary of 1736. In
that service-book this is the hymn for Sunday at Matins.
O day, the chief of days, whose light
Sprang from the dark embrace of night,
On which our Lord from death’s grim thrall
Arose, True Light, to lighten all.
Death trembling heard the mighty Lord,
And darkness quick obeyed His word;—
O shame on us! our tardy will
Is slow His summons to fulfil.
While Nature yet unconscious lies,
Come, let us, sons of light, arise,
And cheerful raise our matin lay
To chase the dark of night away.
While all the world around is still,
Come, and with songs the temple fill,
Taught by the saints of bygone days,
Whose words were song, whose songs were praise.
Loud trump of Heaven, our languor shake,
And bid our slumbering spirits wake;
Teach us the nobler life, and give,
O Christ, the needed grace to live.
O Font of love! Our steps attend;
Those needed gifts in mercy send;
And where Thy word is heard this day,
Give Thou the Spirit’s power, we pray.
To Father and to Son be praise,
To Thee, O Holy Ghost, always,
Whose presence still the heart inspires
With sacred light and glowing fires.