This hymn was used as the sequence hymn for the feast of St. Augustine of Hippo (Aug. 28) in a number of medieval Missals, particularly in France.
This is the text of this hymn as it appears in the 1856 edition of John Mason Neale’s Hymnal Noted, expanded edition (1854). It is listed in that hymnal as a morning hymn for All Saints, or for any particular Saint:
The praises that the Blessed know
The Church shall imitate below,
Whene’er she greets, in yearly strain,
The birthdays of her Saints again.
Now, all their battles past and gone,
The Crown of Glory is set on;
For Chastity, as lily white,
For Martyrdom, as ruby bright.
This cannot human fancy know,
Nor tongue of Men nor Angels shew,
Till endless life the vict’ry brings
That gives for earthly, heav’nly things.
One day of those most glorious rays
Is better than ten thousand days!
Refulgent with celestial light,
And with God’s fullest knowledge bright.
That we the Saints’ blest lives may reach,
That we their blessed faith may teach,
May join above, and love below,
The Spirit of All Grace bestow. Amen.
Words: Adam of St. Victor, 1112-1146; John Mason Neale, 1854.
Tune: “Deventer” B. Tours, 1838-1897.*
*Neale provides a melody from the Roman Antiphonal for this text – so far I do not know of where I could find a sound file demonstrating this tune.
The original Latin text of this hymn may be found here.