Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
 
I. The Divine Element—(God, Christ, the Holy Spirit)
“My God, I love Thee”
Saint Francis Xavier (1506–1552)
 
From the Latin by Edward Caswall

MY God, I love thee! not because
  I hope for heaven thereby;
Nor because those who love thee not
  Must burn eternally.
 
Thou, O my Jesus, thou didst me        5
  Upon the cross embrace!
For me didst bear the nails and spear,
  And manifold disgrace,
 
And griefs and torments numberless,
  And sweat of agony,        10
Yea, death itself,—and all for one
  That was thine enemy.
 
Then why, O blessèd Jesus Christ,
  Should I not love thee well?
Not for the hope of winning heaven,        15
  Nor of escaping hell;
 
Not with the hope of gaining aught,
  Not seeking a reward;
But as thyself hast lovèd me,
  O everlasting Lord!        20
 
E’en so I love thee, and will love,
  And in thy praise will sing,—
Solely because thou art my God,
  And my eternal King.
 
 
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