Latinised Hymns

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 on my sight,
And clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

Let holy charity
My 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 he become the place
Wherein the Holy Spirit makes his dwelling.

Bianco da Siena/R.F. Littledale

Divine Amor, meam
visurus animam
cum propriis ardoribus descendas;
tu mea pectora,
Solator, occupa,
et sanctis ignibus tuis incendas.

Libenter hi flagrent
terrestrem ut crement
sensum suo calore incinerantes;
lucisque radii
appareant mihi
cingentes me viamque illuminantes.

Cum partes caritas
tegat mihi exteras,
humilitas sit intestina vestis,
summissa quae fleat,
ex corde quae gemat
suisque maledicat male gestis.

Sic desiderium,
quod urget animum,
humanam dictionem superabit;
nec est qui gratiam
cognoscat antequam
Paraclitus in eo habitabit.

MM 25–30.5.99