Nox et tenebrae et nubila,

confusa mundi et turbida,

lux intrat, albescit polus,

Christus venit, discedite.


  5Caligo terrae scinditur

percussa solis spiculo,

rebusque iam color redit

vultu nitentis sideris.


Sic nostra mox obscuritas

  10fraudisque pectus conscium

ruptis retectum nubibus

regnante pallescit Deo.


Tunc non licebit claudere

quod quisque fuscum cogitat,

  15sed mane clarescent novo

secreta mentis prodita.


Fur ante lucem squalido

inpune peccat tempore,

sed lux dolis contraria

  20latere furtum non sinit.


Versuta fraus et callida

amat tenebris obtegi,

aptamque noctem turpibus

adulter occultus fovet.


  25Sol ecce surgit igneus,

piget, pudescit, paenitet,

nec teste quisquam lumine

peccare constanter potest.


Quis mane sumptis nequiter

  30non erubescit poculis,

cum fit libido temperans

castumque nugator sapit?


Nunc, nunc severum vivitur,

nunc nemo tentat ludicrum,

  35inepta nunc omnes sua

vultu colorant serio.


Haec hora cunctis utilis,

qua quisque, quod studet, gerat,

miles, togatus, navita,

  40opifex, arator, institor.


Illum forensis gloria,

hunc triste raptat classicum,

mercator hinc ac rusticus

avara suspirant lucra.


  45At nos lucelli ac faenoris

fandique prorsus nescii,

nec arte fortes bellica,

te, Christe, solum novimus.


Te mente pura et simplici,

  50te voce, te cantu pio

rogare curvato genu

flendo et canendo discimus.


His nos lucramur quaestibus,

hac arte tantum vivimus,

  55haec inchoamus munera,

cum sol resurgens emicat.


Intende nostris sensibus,

vitamque totam dispice,

sunt multa fucis inlita,

  60quae luce purgentur tua.


Durare nos tales iube,

quales, remotis sordibus

nitere pridem iusseras,

Iordane tinctos flumine.


  65Quodcumque nox mundi dehinc

infecit atris nubibus,

tu, rex Eoi sideris,

vultu sereno inlumina.


Tu sancte, qui taetram picem

  70candore tingis lacteo

ebenoque crystallum facis,

delicta terge livida.


Sub nocte Iacob caerula

luctator audax angeli,

  75eo usque dum lux surgeret,

sudavit inpar praelium.


Sed cum iubar claresceret,

lapsante claudus poplite

femurque victus debile

  80culpae vigorem perdidit.


Nutabat inguen saucium,

quae corporis pars vilior

longeque sub cordis loco

diram fovet libidinem.


  85Hae nos docent imagines,

hominem tenebris obsitum,

si forte non cedat Deo,

vires rebellis perdere.


Erit tamen beatior,

  90intemperans membrum cui

luctando claudum et tabidum

dies oborta invenerit.


Tandem facessat caecitas,

quae nosmet in praeceps diu

  95lapsos sinistris gressibus

errore traxit devio.


Haec lux serenum conferat

purosque nos praestet sibi:

nihil loquamur subdolum,

  100volvamus obscurum nihil.


Sic tota decurrat dies,

ne lingua mendax, ne manus,

oculive peccent lubrici,

ne noxa corpus inquinet.


  105Speculator adstat desuper,

qui nos diebus omnibus

actusque nostros prospicit

a luce prima in vesperum.


Hic testis, hic est arbiter,

  110his intuetur quidquid est,

humana quod mens concipit;

hunc nemo fallit iudicem.


Ye clouds and darkness, hosts of night

That breed confusion and affright,

Begone! o'erhead the dawn shines clear,

The light breaks in and Christ is here.


Earth's gloom flees broken and dispersed,

By the sun's piercing shafts coerced:

The daystar's eyes rain influence bright

And colours glimmer back to sight.


So shall our guilty midnight fade,

The sin-stained heart's gross dusky shade:

So shall the King's All-radiant Face

Sudden unveil our deep disgrace.


No longer then may we disguise

Our dark intents from those clear eyes:

Yea, at the dayspring's advent blest

Our inmost thoughts will stand confest.


The thief his hidden traffic plies

Unmarked before the dawn doth rise:

But light, the foe of guile concealed,

Lets no ill craft lie unrevealed.


Fraud and Deceit love only night,

Their wiles they practise out of sight;

Curtained by dark, Adultery too

Doth his foul treachery pursue,


But slinks abashed and shamed away

Soon as the sun rekindles day,

For none can damning light resist

And 'neath its rays in sin persist.


Who doth not blush o'ertook by morn

And his long night's carousal scorn?

For day subdues the lustful soul,

And doth all foul desires control.


Now each to earnest life awakes,

Now each his wanton sport forsakes;

Now foolish things are put away

And gravity resumes her sway.


It is the hour for duty's deeds,

The path to which our labour leads,

Be it the forum, army, sea,

The mart or field or factory.


One seeks the plaudits of the bar,

One the stern trumpet calls to war:

Those bent on trade and husbandry

At greed's behest for lucre sigh.


Mine is no rhetorician's fame,

No petty usury I claim;

Nor am I skilled to face the foe:

'Tis Thou, O Christ, alone I know.


Yea, I have learnt to wait on Thee

With heart and lips of purity,

Humbly my knees in prayer to bend,

And tears with songs of praise to blend.


These are the gains I hold in view

And these the arts that I pursue:

These are the offices I ply

When the bright sun mounts up the sky.


Prove Thou my heart, my every thought,

Search into all that I have wrought:

Though I be stained with blots within,

Thy quickening rays shall purge my sin.


O may I ever spotless be

As when my stains were cleansed by Thee,

Who bad'st me 'neath the Jordan's wave

Of yore my soilëd spirit lave.


If e'er since then the world's gross night

Hath cast its curtain o'er my sight,

Dispel the cloud, O King of grace,

Star of the East! with thy pure face.


Since Thou canst change, O holy Light,

The blackest hue to milky white,

Ebon to clearness crystalline,

Wash my foul stains and make me clean.


'Twas 'neath the lonely star-blue night

That Jacob waged the unequal fight,

Stoutly he wrestled with the Man

In darkness, till the day began.


And when the sun rose in the sky

He halted on his shrivelled thigh:

His natural might had ebbed away,

Vanquished in that tremendous fray.


Not wounded he in nobler part

Nor smitten in life's fount, the heart:

But lust was shaken from his throne

And his foul empire overthrown.


Whereby we clearly learn aright

That man is whelmed by deadly night,

Unless he own God conqueror

And strive against His will no more.


Yet happier he whom rising morn

Shall find of nature's strength forlorn,

Whose warring flesh hath shrunk away,

Palsied by virtue's puissant sway.


And then at length let darkness flee,

Which all too long held us in fee,

'Mid wildering shadows made us stray

And led in devious tracks our way.


We pray Thee, Rising Light serene,

E'en as Thyself our hearts make clean:

Let no deceit our lips defile

Nor let our souls be vexed by guile.


O keep us, as the hours proceed,

From lying word and evil deed,

Our roving eyes from sin set free,

Our body from impurity.


For thou dost from above survey

The converse of each fleeting day:

Thou dost foresee from morning light

Our every deed, until the night.


Justice and judgment dwell with Thee,

Whatever is, Thine eye doth see:

Thou know'st what human hearts conceive

And none Thy wisdom may deceive.

Roman Empire / Latin Authors / Praefatio / Preface / I. Hymnus ad Galli Cantum / I. Hymn at Cock-Crow / II. Hymnus Matutinus / II. Morning Hymn / III. Hymnus ante Cibum / III. Hymn before Meat / IV. Hymnus post Cibum / IV. Hymn after Meat / V. Hymnus ad Incensum Lucernae / V. Hymn for the Lighting of the Lamps / VI. Hymnus ante Somnum / VI. Hymn before Sleep / VII. Hymnus Ieiunantium / VII. Hymn for Those Who Fast / VIII. Hymnus post Ieiunium / VIII. Hymn after Fasting / IX. Hymnus Omnis Horae / IX. Hymn for All Hours / X. Hymnus ad Exequias Defuncti / X. Hymn for the Burial of the Dead / XI. Hymnus Kalendas Ianuarias / XI. Hymn for Christmas-Day / XII. Hymnus Epiphaniae / XII. Hymn for the Epiphany / Epilogus / Epilogue /