May 19, 2014

Poem: O Deus Ego Amo Te (O God, I Love Thee)

Painting by Paul Rubens - Courtesy of Wikipedia

O Deus Ego Amo Te (O God, I Love Thee) is a translation by Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. (1844-1889) of O Deus Ego Amo Te, attributed to the early Jesuit missionary, St. Francis Xavier (1506-1552). It was probably written sometime in the 1540's during his time in India and was likely composed as a sonnet in Spanish or Portuguese, then later translated into Latin, either by Xavier himself and/or by others, for there are several Latin versions. O Deus Ego Amo Te (O God, I Love Thee) is included in the Poetry Appendix of the Liturgy of the Hours (1975).

O DEUS EGO AMO TE by Gerard Manley Hopkins (Public Domain)

O God, I love thee, I love thee-
Not out of hope of heaven for me
Nor fearing not to love and be
     In the everlasting burning.
Thou, thou, my Jesus, after me
     Didst reach thine arms out dying,
For my sake sufferedst nails, and lance,
Mocked and marred countenance,
     Sorrows passing number,
     Sweat and care and cumber,
Yea and death, and this for me,
     And thou couldst see me sinning:
Then I, why should not I love thee,
Jesu, so much in love with me?
Not for heaven's sake; not to be
Out of hell by loving thee;
Not for any gains I see;
But just the way that thou didst me
I do love and I will love thee:
What must I love thee, Lord, for then?
For being my king and God. Amen.


Original Latin hymn sung by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles

O DEUS, EGO AMO TE - Anonymous 18th Century Hymn

O Deus, ego amo te,
Nec amo te ut salves me,
Nec quod qui te non diligent,
Æterno igne pereunt.

Ex cruces lingo germinat,
Qui pectus amor occupant,
Ex pansis unde brachiis,
Ad te amandum arripes. Amen.


O DEUS, EGO AMO TE by St. Francis Xavier

O Deus, ego amo te,
Nec amo te, ut salves me,
Aut, quia non amantes te
Æterno punis igne.

Tu, tu, mi Jesu, totum me
Amplexus es in cruce;
Tuliste clavos, lanceam,
Multamque ignominiam,

Innumeros dolores,
Sudores, et angores,
Et mortem, et hæc propter me,
Ac pro me peccatore.

Cur igitur non amem te,
O Jesu amantissime,
Non, ut in cœlo salves me,
Aut ne æternum damnes me,

Nec præmii ullius spe;
Sed sicut tu amasti me?
Sic amo et amabo te,
Solum quia Rex meus es,
Et solum, quia Deus es.

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