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)
The Holy Spirit
Robert Herrick (1591–1674)
 
IN the hour of my distress,
When temptations me oppress,
And when I my sins confess,
    Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
 
When I lie within my bed,        5
Sick at heart, and sick in head,
And with doubts discomforted,
    Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
 
When the house doth sigh and weep,
And the world is drowned in sleep,        10
Yet mine eyes the watch do keep,
    Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
 
When the artless doctor sees
No one hope but of his fees,
And his skill runs on the lees,        15
    Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
 
When his potion and his pill
Has or none or little skill,
Meet for nothing but to kill,—
    Sweet Spirit, comfort me!        20
 
When the passing-bell doth toll,
And the Furies, in a shoal,
Come to fright a parting soul,
    Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
 
When the tapers now burn blue,        25
And the comforters are few,
And that number more than true,
    Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
 
When the priest his last hath prayed,
And I nod to what is said        30
’Cause my speech is now decayed,
    Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
 
When, God knows, I ’m tost about
Either with despair or doubt,
Yet before the glass be out,        35
    Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
 
When the tempter me pursu’th
With the sins of all my youth,
And half damns me with untruth,
    Sweet Spirit, comfort me!        40
 
When the flames and hellish cries
Fright mine ears, and fright mine eyes,
And all terrors me surprise,
    Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
 
When the judgment is revealed,        45
And that opened which was sealed,—
When to thee I have appealed,
    Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
 
 
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