Come Down, O Love Divine   4 comments

The Holy Spirit Descending

Image Source = Wikipedia

Original words by Bianco da Siena (died 1434?), a monk

English translation by Richard Frederick Littledale (1833-1890), an Anglo-Catholic priest of The Church of England; Littledale had a nearly photographic memory and great literary skill, which he had time to put to great use because his frequently bad health prevented him from usual priestly duties other than hearing confessions; He also translated many old hymns into English and edited hymnals and liturgical books

Hymn Source = The Hymn Book of the Anglican Church of Canada and the United Church of Canada (1971)


1.  Come down, O love divine,

seek thou this soul of mine,

and visit it with thine own ardor glowing.

O Comforter, draw near,

within my heart appear,

and kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.

2.  O let it freely burn,

till earthly passions turn

to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;

and let thy glorious light

shine ever on my sight,

and clothe me round, my onward path illuming.

3.  Let holy charity

mine outward vesture be,

and lowliness become mine inner clothing,

true lowliness of heart,

which takes the humbler part,

and o’er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

4.  And so the yearning strong

with which the soul will long

shall far outpass the power of human telling;

for none can guess its grace,

till he become the place

wherein the Holy Spirit makes his dwelling.

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