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Sweet spirit comfort me

In the hour of my distress

Author: Robert Herrick
Published in 25 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI, Recording

Full Text

1. In the hour of my distress,
When temptations me oppress,
And when I my sins confess,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me.

2. When I lie within my bed,
Sick in heart, and sick in head,
And with doubts discomforted,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me.

3. When the house doth sigh and weep,
And the world is drowned in sleep,
Yet mine eyes the watch do keep,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me.

4. When, God knows, I’m tossed about,
Either with despair or doubt,
Yet, before the glass be out,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me.

5. When the judgment is revealed,
And that opened which was sealed,
When to Thee I have appealed,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me.

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #2988

Author: Robert Herrick

Herrick, Robert, son of Nicholas Herrick, goldsmith in Cheapside, London, was born in London in 1591, and educated at St. John's College, and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Taking Holy Orders in 1629, he was presented to the living of Dean-Prior, Devon. During Cromwell's Government he was ejected, but was reinstated at the Restoration. He died in 1674. His Noble Numbers was published in 1647; and his Hesperides, or the Works bothe Humane and Divine, of Robert Herrick, in 1648. Various editions have followed, including that by Dr. Grosart, in 3 vols., in his Early English Poets, 1869. A Selection, with Memoir by Dr. Nott, was also published at Bristol, 1810; and another Selection, by F. T. Palgrave, in the Golden Treasury Series, 1877. Herrick's H… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: In the hour of my distress
Title: Sweet spirit comfort me
Author: Robert Herrick
Refrain First Line: Sweet Spirit, comfort me


In the hour of my distress. B. Herrick. [Litany to the Holy Spirit.] This Litany was published in his Noble Numbers, &c, 1647, in 12 stanzas of 4 lines; and in Dr. Grosart's Early English Poets, 1869, vol. iii. p. 132. The form in which it is found in common use is that of a cento. The stanzas chosen vary in the hymnals, those usually omitted being too quaint for congregational use. In some collections it begins “In the time of my distress." It is also sometimes given as "In the hour of deep distress," with the refrain "Good Spirit, comfort me." This form of the text appeared in Cotterill's Selection, 1819, where it was given as a sequel to "O Thou from Whom all goodness flows." It is in extensive use in Great Britain and America. Original text in Lyra Britannica, 1867, p. 306.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



The Cyber Hymnal #2988
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)


Instances (1 - 3 of 3)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
New English Praise: a supplement to the New English Hymnal #624
Small Church Music #5684Audio
The Cyber Hymnal #2988TextScoreAudio
Include 22 pre-1979 instances