Sunday, May 27, 2012

"Come Down, O Love Divine"

Listen to the best hymn ever written*, sung by the King's College Choir.

Text via Bianco da Siena (14th C.) and translated by Anglo-Irish clergyman, Richard Frederick Littledale ; music by R.V. Williams (20th C.). And another example of the fantastic music that Pentecost has inspired.  (See more about this beautiful hymn, and the complete Bianco da Siena poem, at Discendi, amor santo.)



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.

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, 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 out pass the power of human telling;
For none can guess its grace, till he become the place
Wherein the Holy Spirit makes His dwelling.

* Well, one of, anyway.

2 comments:

9.West said...

Da Siena died in 1434, so it seems as though people assume it was written after 1400 (which would make it 15th century).

bls said...

You may be totally right; he was born in C. 14, so I went with that.

I'm actually trying to get ahold of more about him at the moment, so maybe I can pin down a year, and will post it if I do....

Thanks!

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