Monday, 25 May 2015

Poetry Revisited: Whitsuntide by Juliana Horatia Ewing

Whitsuntide

(1864)

(church hymn first published in Horatia Katharine Frances Gatty,
Juliana Horatia Ewing and Her Books [1885] page 17)

Come down! come down! O Holy Ghost!
As once of old Thou didst come down
In fiery tongues at Pentecost,
The Apostolic heads to crown.

Come down! though now no flame divine,
Nor heaven-sent Dove, our sight amaze;
Our Church still shows the outward sign,
Thou truly givest inward grace.

Come down! come down! on infancy,
The babes whom Jesus deign'd to love;
God give us grace by faith to see,
Above the Font, the mystic Dove.

Come down! come down! on kneeling bands
Of those who fain would strength receive;
And in the laying on of hands
Bless us beyond what we believe.

Come down! not only on the saint,
Oh! struggle with the hard of heart,
With wilful sin and inborn taint,
Till lust, and wrath, and pride depart.

Come down! come down! sweet Comforter!
It was the promise of the Lord.
Come down! although we grieve Thee sore,
Not for our merits--but His Word.

Come down! come down! not what we would,
But what we need, O bring with Thee.
Turn life's sore riddle to our good;
A little while and we shall see. Amen.

Juliana Horatia Ewing
(1841-1885)

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