Now are the days of humblest prayer,
When consciences to God lie bare,
And mercy most delights to spare.
Oh hearken when we cry,
Chastise us with Thy fear;
Yet, Father! in the multitude
Of Thy compassions, hear!
Now is the season, wisely long,
Of sadder thought and graver song,
When ailing souls grow well and strong.
The feast of penance! Oh so bright,
With true conversion’s heav’nly light,
Like sunrise after stormy night!
Oh happy time of blessèd tears,
Of surer hopes, of chastening fears,
Undoing all our evil years.
We, who have loved the world, must learn,
Upon that world our backs to turn,
And with the love God to burn.
Vile creatures of such little worth!
Than we, there can be none on earth
More fallen from their Christian birth.
Full long in sin’s dark ways we went,
Yet now our steps are heav’nward bent,
And grace is plentiful in Lent.
All glory to redeeming grace,
Disdaining not our evil case,
But showing us our Savior’s face!