Help, lord, my hope increase
From “The Hymn of St. Thomas the Apostle”
- O let thy wretch find that relief
- Thou didst afford the faithful thief.
- Please for me, love! Allege and show
- That faith has farther, here, to go
- And less to lean on. Because then
- Though hid as GOD, wounds writ thee man,
- Thomas might touch; none but might see
- At least the suff’ring side of thee;
- And that too was thyself which thee did cover,
- And here ev’n hid too which hides the other.
- Sweet, consider then, that I
- Though allow’d not hand nor eye
- To reach at thy lov’d Face; nor can
- Taste thee GOD, or touch thee MAN
- Both yet believe; And witness thee
- My LORD too and my GOD, as loud as He.
- Help, lord, my hope increase;
- And fill my portion in thy peace.
- Give love for life; nor let my days
- Grow, but in new powers to thy name and praise.
- — from “The Hymn of St. Thomas the Apostle”
Richard Crashaw (c. 1613–1649) was an English poet and one of the most renowned of the Metaphysical poets. Son of a vehemently anti-Catholic Puritan minister, Crashaw studied in Cambridge and began publishing poetry and teaching at the school soon after taking a degree. Sent into exile during the English Ctivil War, he converted to Catholicism while in Italy. Although he had formally entered the Catholic Church only after leaving England, spiritually his poems reflect a mature understanding of Catholic doctrine, especially regarding Mariology and specifically the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven.