I’m trying to learn some of the Latin hymns from the Roman Breviary so I can substitute them for the suggestions in “Shorter Christian Prayer”. This hymn is by St. Ambrose, and the translation here is by Fr. Edward Caswell. It is sung at Lauds (Morning Prayer) on Saturdays.
The dawn is sprinkling in the east
Its golden shower, as day flows in;
Fast mount the pointed shafts of light:
Farewell to darkness and to sin!
Away, ye midnight phantoms all!
Away, despondence and despair!
Whatever guilt the night has brought
Now let it vanish into air.
So, Lord, when that last morning breaks,
Looking to which we sigh and pray,
O may it to Thy minstrels prove
The dawning of a better day.
To God the Father glory be,
And to His sole-begotten Son;
Glory, O Holy Ghost, to Thee,
While everlasting ages run. Amen.
Another translation (author unknown) of the first verse that I found in “The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal” reads:
The dawn now overspreads the heavens;
Day glides over the earth;
Rays of light mount on high;
May every unclean thing depart.
(It doesn’t go with the music, but I find it interesting and sometimes profitable to read another translation that isn’t forced into a meter.)