In the hour of my distress
In the hour of my distress. Robert Herrick* (1591-1674).
From Herrick’s His Noble Numbers: or, His Pious Pieces, Wherein (amongst other things) he Sings the Birth of his Christ: and Sighes for his Saviours Suffering on the Crosse (1647). It was entitled ‘His Letanie, to the Holy Spirit’. It had twelve triple-rhymed stanzas, with a refrain, ‘Sweet Spirit, comfort me!’
Twelve stanzas was too long even for a litany hymn, and most hymnbooks select five or six.The original text of the six-stanza text was:
In the hour of my distresse,When temptations me oppresse,And when I my sins confesse, Sweet Spirit, comfort me!
When I lie within my bed,Sick in heart, and sick in...
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