Aurora lucis rutilat

An Easter hymn by St. Ambrose

The light of dawn is reddening,
The heavens’ morning praises spring,
The earth exults: “The morning! Hail!”
While hell’s sad dwellers groan and wail.

Our King, the victor in the strife,
When death was smashed apart by life,
Has trampled hell triumphantly
And captive led captivity.

The Lord, whose barricade of stone
The soldiers kept sharp eyes upon
In vict’ry conquers through that gate
And rises forth in pomp and state.

 “The Lord is risen from the dead!”
The splendid angel loudly said.
And hell is evermore left free
To grumble in its misery.

Be this our thought through all life’s days,
Our Easter joy, our Paschal praise:
The grace in which we are reborn
Was won in triumph on that morn.

Jesus, to You let glory rise,
Who vanquished death and won the prize;
With Father and the Spirit blest,
Be endless ages’ praise addressed.

Trans. c. 2013 Kathleen Pluth 

7 Replies to “Aurora lucis rutilat”

  1. St. Anne is definitely the right style, but the meter is a foot too short in the even-numbered lines. Like most office hymns, this is in Long Meter. Jeffrey Morse says the chant tune is excellent. In terms of foursquare tunes, I like Eisenach for this one.

  2. By the chant tune, do you mean the one used with "Jesu dulcis memoria"? I can hear that working very well with this text. Its as if you were humming it when you set to work. 🙂

  3. The tune for Jesu dulcis memoria is great when working with a group – if they don't know it on the first stanza, they will be halfway through the second. And folks will sing it relatively quickly, an important point with a multitude of stanzas

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