Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee. John 21:15
Words: Author unknown (O Deus, ego amo te). Translated from Latin to English by Edward Caswall, Lyra Catholica 1849.
Music: St. Fulbert Henry J. Gauntlett, 1849 (🔊 pdf nwc).
The original is reportedly a Spanish sonnet which begins, No me mueve, mi Dios, para quererte. It appeared in Diepenbrock’s Geistlicher Blumenstrauss (1829), attributed to Francis Xavier.
It also appeared in the Poesias of Theresa de Jesus (1515–1582), showing her as the author, but was not in her Libros (Lisbon: 1616), Obras (Lisbon: 1654), or Opera (Cologne, Germany: 1686).
Julian believed the Latin form was probably by Xavier or by a German Jesuit. A translation of the Latin lyrics was published in 1668 in Heilige Seelenlust, by Johann Scheffler, crediting Xavier as the author.
My God, I love Thee; not because
I hope for Heav’n thereby,
Nor yet because who love Thee not
May eternally die.
Thou, O my Jesus, Thou didst me
Upon the cross embrace;
For me didst bear the nails and spear,
And manifold disgrace.
And griefs and torments numberless,
And sweat of agony;
E’en death itself; and all for man
Who was Thine enemy.
Then why, O blessèd Jesus Christ
Should I not love Thee well?
Not for the hope of winning Heaven,
Nor of escaping hell.
Not with the hope of gaining aught,
Nor seeking a reward,
But as Thyself hast lovèd me,
O everlasting Lord!
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.