Breviary Hymns and Missal Sequences, Saint Francis of Assisi, Vespers II

The shades of night had now begun
To spread o’er all the darkened sky,
On that last day our Father lived,
Well knowing that his hour draws nigh.

How firm his constancy of mind!
How strong the faith the Saint now shows!
How hot the flame of burning love,
Which now within his bosom glows!

In tears his children stand around,
Grieving to see their Father die;
“O Shepherd, why dost thou thus leave
Thy suffering flock,” they weeping cry.

Then stretching forth his loving hand,
And lifting up his eyes to Heaven,
He prays, “May rich and timely showers
Of Heavenly grace to you be given.”

“Drive errors from your minds away,
And from your homes all stains of sin;
Keep close your hearts from all things else,
Let virtue only shine therein.”

He spake, and then his spirit flies
From earth, and shining gloriously,
Like brilliant star, by clouds is borne
Into the Heavenly Company.

Praise to the Father and the Son,
And to the Holy Spirit be,
May He to us for ever give
Glory through all Eternity. Amen.

– translated by Archbishop Edward Gilpin Bagshawe, C.O., Bishop of Nottingham, England