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Celestial Word, to this our earth
sent down from God's eternal clime,
to save mankind by mortal birth
into a world of change and time;
Enlighten our hearts; vain hopes destroy;
and in thy love's consuming fire
fill all the soul with heavenly joy,
and melt the dross of low desire.
So when the Judge of quick and dead
shall bid his awful summons come,
to whelm the guilty soul with dread,
and call the blessed to their home,
Saved from the whirling, black abyss,
forevermore to us be given
to share the feast of saintly bliss,
and see the face of God in heaven.
To God the Father and the Son
our songs with one accord we raise;
and to the Holy Spirit, One
with them, be ever equal praise.
Latin, fifth or sixth century; trans. William John Courthope (1842-1917)