Scripture Verse

Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee.@John 21:15
portrait
Edward Caswall
(1814–1878)
© National Portrait Gallery

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).

portrait
Henry J. Gauntlett
(1805–1876)
© National Portrait Gallery

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.