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Nox, et tenebræ, et nubila

Day is breaking, dawn is bright

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Nox, et tenebræ, et nubila,
    Confusa mundi et turbida:
    Lux intrat, albescit polus:
    Christus venit: discedite.
  2. Caligo terræ scinditur
    Percussa solis spiculo,
    Rebusque jam color redit,
    Vultu nitentis sideris.
  3. Te Christe solum novimus:
    Te mente pura et simplici,
    Flendo et canendo quæsumus,
    Intende nostris sensibus.
  4. Sunt multa fucis illita,
    Quæ luce purgentur tua:
    Tu vera lux cœlestium
    Vultu sereno illumina.
  5. Deo Patri sit gloria,
    Ejusque soli Filio,
    Cum Spiritu Paraclito
    Nunc et per omne sæculum.
  1. Day is breaking, dawn is bright:
    Hence, vain shadows of the night!
    Mists that dim our mortal sight,
       Christ is come! Depart!
  2. Darkness routed lifts her wings
    As the radiance upwards springs:
    Through the world of wakened things
       Life and color dart.
  3. Thee, O Christ, alone we know:
    Singing even in our woe,
    With pure hearts to Thee we go:
       On our senses shine!
  4. In Thy beams be purged away
    All that leads our thoughts astray!
    Through our spirits, King of day,
       Pour Thy light divine!
  5. Unto God the Father, Son,
    Holy Spirit, Three in One,
    One in Three, be glory done,
       Now and evermore.
Author: Prudentius (348-413). Meter: Iambic dimeter. Translation by W. J. Courthope. There are seventeen translations. This hymn is a cento from the Morning Hymn of the Cathemerinon. See the note on this hymn and its translation, under Ales diei nuntius, hymn 14.
  1. “Night, darkness, and clouds, confused and disordered state of the world, depart: light enters, the sky grows bright, Christ comes.”
  2. “The darkness of the earth is rent, pierced by a ray of the sun; color now returns to things, at the appearance of the shining star of day.” Nitentis sideris, the sun, the daystar; fig., Christ.
  3. “Thee alone, O Christ we know; with pure and simple hearts, with tears and hymns we seek Thee; incline to our souls.” Intende, give ear to, be favorably disposed towards, hasten to the help of.
  4. “Many things which are now bedaubed with false colors shall be purified by Thy light: O Thou true Light of the saints, enlighten us by Thy bright countenance.” Fucis, lit., rouge, lllita, from illino, bedaub, smear. For the line Tu vera lux cœlestium, the Original Text has, Tu lux eoi sideris. Eoi from eous, adj., belonging to the morning, eastern.
    Light of the Morning Star, illume,
    Serenely shining, all our gloom.