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 >
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)
Display Title: Sweet Spirit, comfort meFirst Line: In the hour of my distressTune Title: LITANY TO THE HOLY SPIRITAuthor: Robert Herrick, 1591-1674Date: 2006Subject: Sacraments and Other Rites | Sickness and Healing