Spent a beautiful day in Wharfedale at Bolton Abbey, with its ruined 12th Century Augustinian priory and its functioning Anglican church. It is a glorious spot with the river running down through the valley.
The woods were full of bluebells and wild garlic – very late, presumably because of the cold spring – and the scent of the gentle garlic pervaded most of our walk.
My favourite Pentecost or Whitsun hymn is Come Down, O Love Divine to the tune Down Ampney by Ralph Vaughan Williams. The original words from Bianco Da Siena (d. 1434) were given their English form by R.F. Litterdale.
Come down, O love divine,
seek thou this soul of mine,
and visit it with thine own ardour glowing;
O Comforter, draw near,
within my heart appear,
and kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.
O let it freely burn,
till earthly passions turn
to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
and let thy glorious light
shine ever on my sight,
and clothe me round, the while my path illuming.
Let holy charity
mine outward vesture be,
and lowliness become mine inner clothing;
true lowliness of heart,
which takes the humbler part,
and o’er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.
And so the yearning strong,
with which the soul will long,
shall far outpass the power of human telling;
for none can guess its grace,
till Love create a place
wherein the Holy Spirit makes his dwelling.