Come down, O love divine


Come down, O love divine,
seek thou this soul of mine,
and visit it with thine own ardour glowing;
O Comforter, draw near,
within my heart appear,
and kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.

O let it freely burn,
‘till earthly passions turn
to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
and let thy glorious light
shine ever in thy sight,
and clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

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.

And so the yearning strong,
with which the soul will long,
shall far outpass the pow’r of human telling;
nor can we guess its grace,
‘till we become the place
wherein the Holy Spirit makes his dwelling.

Bianco da Siena (–1434), Tr. R. F. Littledale (1833–90)
Tune "Down Ampney" by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)

Notes:
Copyright has expired. Permission to reproduce these words is not required.
Ref: HON 120