Come Down O Love Divine

This hymn for Pentecost was written by Church of Ireland curate, scholar and author Richard Frederick Littledale (1833-1890).

It is based on a work by Italian mystic poet Bianco da Siena (1367-c 1434).

With meter 6.6.11 D, tunes it is almost always set to the tune DOWN AMPNEY which was written by English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958) in 1906.



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Singer with piano-led band:



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Lyrics

Traditional language

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 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 outpass the power of human telling;
for none can guess its grace,
till Love create a place
wherein the Holy Spirit makes a dwelling.


Modern English

Come down, O Love divine,
seek out this soul of mine,
and visit it with your own ardour glowing;
O Comforter, draw near,
within my heart appear,
and kindle it, Your holy flame bestowing.

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

Let holy charity
my outward vesture be,
And lowliness become my 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 power of human telling;
for none can guess its grace,
till Love create a place
wherein the Holy Spirit makes a dwelling.


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