Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
 
Veni Creator Spiritus
By John Dryden (1631–1700)
 
CREATOR 1 Spirit, by whose aid
The world’s foundations first were laid,
Come, visit every pious mind;
Come, pour thy joys on humankind;
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 sevenfold energy!
Thou strength of his Almighty hand,        15
Whose power does heaven and earth command.
Proceeding Spirit, our defence,
Who dost the gift of tongues dispense,
And crown’st thy gift with eloquence.
  Refine and purge our earthy parts;        20
But, oh, 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 them 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 in the way.
  Make us eternal truths receive,        30
And practise all that we believe:
Give us thy self, that we may see
The Father and the Son by thee.
  Immortal honour, 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!
 
Note 1. This paraphrase of the Latin hymn popularly attributed to Charlemagne was first printed in Tonson’s folio edition of Dryden’s Poems, 1701. [back]
 
 
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