He who once, in righteous vengeance,
Whelmed the world beneath the flood,
Once again in mercy cleansed it
With the stream of his own Blood,
Coming from his throne on high
On the painful Cross to die.
Blest with this all-saving shower,
Earth her beauty straight resumed;
In the place of thorns and briers,
Myrtles sprang, and roses bloomed:
Bitter wormwood of the waste
Into honey changed its taste.
Scorpions ceased; the slimy serpent
Laid his deadly poison by;
Savage beasts of cruel instinct
Lost their wild ferocity;
Welcoming the gentle reign
Of the Lamb for sinners slain.
Oh, the wisdom of th’ Eternal!
Oh, its depth, and height divine!
Oh, the sweetness of that mercy
Which in Jesus Christ doth shine!
Slaves we were condemned to die!
Our King pays the penalty!
When before the Judge we tremble,
Conscious of his broken laws,
May this Blood, in that dread hour,
Cry aloud, and plead our cause;
Bid our guilty terrors cease,
Be our pardon and our peace.
Prince and Author of salvation,
Lord of majesty supreme,
Jesu, praise to thee be given
By the world thou didst redeem;
Who with the Father and the Spirit,
Reignest in eternal merit.
– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964