Come gracious Spirit, heavenly dove

Come, gracious Spirit, heavenly dove. Simon Browne* (1680-1732). First published in Browne’s Hymns and Spiritual Songs, in Three Books, designed as a Supplement to Dr Watts (1720), where it was entitled ‘The Soul giving itself up to the Conduct and Influence of the Holy Spirit’. It had seven stanzas. It began with a first line, ‘Come, Holy Spirit, heav’nly Dove’, which was identical to the first line of one of Isaac Watts*’s hymns. Perhaps to distinguish the two, the first line was altered in Augustus Montague Toplady*’s Psalms and Hymns for Public and Private Worship, Second Edition, 1787 (edited by Walter Row). Watts rhymes ABAB; Browne AABB. The text was subsequently altered on many...

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