Now Christ, ascending whence he came,
Had mounted o’er the starry frame,
The Holy Spirit on man below,
The Father’s promise, to bestow.
The solemn time was drawing nigh,
Replete with heav’nly mystery,
On seven days’ sevenfold circles borne,
That first and blessed Whitsun-morn.
When the third hour shone all around,
Then came a rushing mighty sound,
And told the apostles, while in prayer,
That, as promised, God was there.
Forth from the Father’s light it came,
That beautiful and kindly Flame:
To fill with fervour of the Word
The spirits faithful to their Lord.
With joy the Apostles’ breasts are fired,
By God the Holy Spirit inspired:
And straight, in divers kinds of speech,
The wondrous works of God they preach.
To men of every race they speak,
Alike Barbarian, Roman, Greek:
From the same lips, with awe and fear,
All men their native accents hear.
But Juda’s sons, e’en faithless yet,
With mad infuriate rage beset,
To mock Christ’s followers combine,
As drunken all with new-made wine.
When lo! with signs and mighty deeds,
Stands Peter in the midst, and pleads;
Confounding their malignant lie
By Joel’s ancient prophecy.
To God the Father let us sing,
To God the Son, our risen King,
And equally let us adore
The Spirit, God forevermore.