The Sun Is Sinking Fast

This is the text of this hymn as it appears in Hymns Ancient & Modern (1867):

The sun is sinking fast,
The daylight dies;
Let love awake, and pay
Her evening sacrifice.

As Christ upon the Cross
His Head inclined,
And to His Father’s Hands
His parting Soul resigned;

So now herself my soul
Would wholly give
Into His sacred charge
In Whom all spirits live;

So now beneath His Eye
Would calmly rest,
Without a wish or thought
Abiding in the breast;

Save that His Will be done,
Whate’er betide;–
Dead to herself, and dead
In Him to all beside.

Thus would I live: yet now
Not I, but He,
In all His Power and Love,
Henceforth alive in me.

One Sacred Trinity!
One Lord Divine!
May I be ever His,
And He for ever mine. Amen.

Words: Anon. Latin, ca. 18th C.*; tr. Fr. Edward Caswall, Masque of Mary, 1858.
Tune:Twilight John H. Hopkins, Jr.
Alternate Tune:St. Columba (Irons) Herbert S. Irons, 1861.


*Hymns Ancient and Modern has the following note on the original Latin text of this hymn:

Every effort has been made to discover the original of this hymn, but in vain. It was, the translator believes, in the possession of one of the former members of the Edgbaston Oratory, contained in a small book of devotions. It can scarcely have been older than the eighteenth century. The Latin given above is a retranslation kindly forwarded, by way of substitute, by Rev. С. B. Pearson.

Here is Rev C.B. Pearson’s reconstruction of the Latin mentioned above:

Sol præceps rapitur, proxima nox adest,
Paulatim fugiens emoritur dies;
Insopita ferat vespere caritas
Mundo corde piaculum.

Ut Sanctus voluit Filius in Cruce
Inclinare pium iam moriens Caput,
In Patrisque Manus Spiritum anhelitu
Commendare novissimo:

Eius præsidio totus ego meam
Sic fidens animam credere gaudeo;
Custodire Deus spirituum omnium
Me sacris Manibus valet;

Sic dum corda patent ante oculos Dei,
Vellem nil dubitans nunc requiescere,
Non desiderium, non vetitam premens
Alta mente cupidinem.

At Ille Arbitrio quod statuit Suo,
Quicquid contigerit, perficiat precor;
Quin discam, ipse mihi mortuus omnia
Pro Christo quoque temnere.

Sic vivam liceat, denique non ego
In me sed potius pectore in intimo
Plena deveniens Ipse Potentia
Christus vivat et imperet.

Sacrosancta, Potens, Unica Trinitas,
Æternus Dominus, Nomen amabile,
Me dehinc semper amans possideat Suum
Usque in sæcula sit meus! Amen.


About Noah

musings of a young Catholic aspiring to be faithful to his Lord and God Jesus Christ through His Holy Catholic Church
This entry was posted in Authorship Debated, Unknown, To Be Determined, Edward Caswall, English Translation of Non-English Hymn, Evening, Hymns By The Greats, Latin Hymns, Nighttime, Non-English Hymns, Times of Day. Bookmark the permalink.

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