Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
 
I. The Divine Element—(God, Christ, the Holy Spirit)
Veni Creator Spiritus
Saint Gregory (c. 540–604)
 
From the Latin by John Dryden

   [Sometimes attributed to the Emperor Charlemagne. The better opinion, however, inclines to Pope Gregory I., called the Great, as the author, and fixes its origin somewhere in the sixth century.]

CREATOR Spirit, by whose aid
The world’s foundations first were laid,
Come visit every pious mind,
Come pour thy joys on human kind;
From sin and sorrow set us free,        5
And make thy temples worthy thee.
 
O source of uncreated light,
The Father’s promised Paraclete!
Thrice holy fount, thrice holy fire,
Our hearts with heavenly love inspire;        10
Come, and thy sacred unction bring,
To sanctify us while we sing.
 
Plenteous of grace, descend from high,
Rich in thy seven-fold energy!
Thou strength of his almighty hand,        15
Whose power does heaven and earth command!
Proceeding Spirit, our defence,
Who dost the gifts of tongues dispense,
And crown’st thy gift with eloquence!
 
Refine and purge our earthly parts;        20
But, O, inflame and fire our hearts!
Our frailties help, our vice control,
Submit the senses to the soul;
And when rebellious they are grown,
Then lay thy hand and hold ’em down.        25
 
Chase from our minds the infernal foe,
And peace, the fruit of love, bestow;
And, lest our feet should step astray,
Protect and guide us on the way.
 
Make us eternal truths receive,        30
And practise all that we believe;
Give us thyself, that we may see
The Father and the Son by thee.
 
Immortal honor, endless fame,
Attend the Almighty Father’s name;        35
The Saviour Son be glorified,
Who for lost man’s redemption died;
And equal adoration be,
Eternal Paraclete, to thee.
 
 
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