Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
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)
“O Fire of God, the Comforter”
Hildegard of Bingen (1098–1179)
From the Latin by Richard Frederick Littledale

“O Ignis Spiritus Paracliti”

O FIRE of God, the Comforter, O life of all that live,
Holy art thou to quicken us, and holy, strength to give:
To heal the broken-hearted ones, their sorest wounds to bind,
O Spirit of all holiness, O Lover of mankind!
O sweetest taste within the breast, O grace upon us poured,        5
That saintly hearts may give again their perfume to the Lord.
O purest fountain! we can see, clear mirrored in thy streams,
That God brings home the wanderers, that God the lost redeems.
O breastplate strong to guard our life, O bond of unity,
O dwelling-place of righteousness, save all who trust in thee:        10
Defend those who in dungeon dark are prisoned by the foe,
And, for thy will is aye to save, let thou the captives go.
O surest way, that through the height and through the lowest deep
And through the earth dost pass, and all in firmest union keep;
From thee the clouds and ether move, from thee the moisture flows,        15
From thee the waters draw their rills, and earth with verdure glows,
And thou dost ever teach the wise, and freely on them pour
The inspiration of thy gifts, the gladness of thy lore.
All praise to thee, O joy of life, O hope and strength, we raise,
Who givest us the prize of light, who art thyself all praise.        20

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