Hymn Story: Come down, O Love divine
Come down, O Love divine was written by Bianco da Siena an Italian poet and wool worker who was born at Anciolina, in the Val d’Arno around 1350. In 1367 he entered the Order of Jesuates, consisting of unordained men who followed the rule of St. Augustine. Little is known of Bianco beyond the fact that he is said to have lived in Venice for some years, and died there in 1434. His hymns were published at Lucca, in 1851, and edited by T. Bini, under the title, Laudi spirituali del Bianco da Siena.
Richard Frederick Littledale was born in 1883 Dublin, Ireland. From 1856 to 1857 he was the curate of St. Matthew in Thorpe Hamlet, Norfolk, and from 1857 to 1861 was the curate of St. Mary the Virgin, in Soho, London. For the remainder of his life he suffered from chronic illness and spent most of his time writing. He authored many books and pamphlets on Anglican liturgy, theology, and the church’s engagement with society, and completed his good friend John Mason Neale’s work on the psalms after Neale died in 1866.
Littledale translated Come down, O Love Divine into English. He translated songs into English from seven different languages.
Littledale died in 1890.