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The Spire of Strasburg Cathedral. Night and storm.
Lucifer, with the Powers of the Air, trying to tear down the Cross.


Hasten! Hasten!
O ye spirits!
From its station drag the pond'rous
Cross of iron, that to mock us
Is uplifted high in air!

Spirits around the spire of Strasburg Cathedral
  O, we cannot;
For around it
All the saints and guardian angels
Throng in legions to protect it;
They defeat us ev'rywhere!
The Bells
  Laudo Deum verum!
Plebem voco!
Congrego clerum!
  Lower! Lower!
Hover downward!
Seize the loud vociferous bells, and
Clashing, clanging, to the pavement
Hurl them from their windy tower.

  All thy thunders
Here are harmless!
For these bells have been anointed
And baptized with holy water!
They defy our utmost power.
The Bells
  Defunctos ploro!
Pestem fugo!
Festa decoro.
  Shake the casements!
Break the painted
Panes, that flame with gold and crimson:
Scatter them, scatter them like leaves of Autumn,
Swept away before the blast!
  O, we cannot;
The Archangel
Michael flames from ev'ry window,
With the sword of fire that drove us,
Headlong, out of heaven, aghast!
The Bells
  Funera plango!
Fulgura frango!
Sabbata pango!  

Lucifer Voices The Bells
  Aim your lightnings
  At the oaken,        
  Massive, iron studded portals!   O,    
  Sack the house of God, and scatter,   we cannot, O we cannot,   Ex-
  Scatter, scatter,   The Apostles And the   -cito lento,
  Scatter wide the   Martyrs, wrapped in    
  ashes of the dead!   mantles stand as warders   Disipo ventos!
  Sack the house of God, and scatter   Stand as   Paco
  Wide the ashes of the dead!   sentinels o'erhead!   cruentos!


Baffled! baffled!
Craven spirits! leave this labour
Unto Time, the great Destroyer!
Come away,
Come away, ere night is gone!
Lucifer flies over the city
  Onward! onward!
With the night-wind,
Over field, and farm, and forest,
Lonely homestead, darksome hamlet,
Over field, and farm, and forest,
Over field, and farm, and forest,
Field and farm and forest,
Field and farm and forest,
Blighting all we breathe upon.

They sweep away. Organ and Gregorian Chant.

  Nocte surgentes
Vigilemus omnes,
Nocte surgentes
Vigilemus omnes,
Omnes, omnes, omnes.
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Date modified 5 January, 2010 Copyright © 2010 The Gilbert and Sullivan Archive All Rights Reserved