Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee   2 comments

Christ Pantocrator

Image Source = Gun Powder Ma

Hymn Source = Common Service Book of the Lutheran Book (1917), of predecessor bodies of the United Lutheran Church in America (1918)

Tradition attributes this hymn, in the original Latin, to St. Bernard of Clarivaux (1090-1153).  There is much doubt about this attribution among scholars of hymnody, however.  (I have excluded Bernard from my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints, located at SUNDRY THOUGHTS, based on his involvement with Second Crusade, so I will be quite happy if he did not write this hymn.)  All agree, however, that what follows is the English translation by Edward Caswall (1814-1878), a Church of England priest who converted to Roman Catholicism during the time of the Oxford Movement.



1.  Jesus, the very thought of Thee

With sweetness fills the breast;

But sweeter far Thy face to see,

And in Thy presence rest.

2.  Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame,

Nor can the memory find

A sweeter sound than Thy blest Name,

O Saviour of mankind!

3.  O Hope of ev’ry contrite heart,

O Joy of all the meek,

To those who fall, how kind Thou art,

How good to those who seek!

4.  But what to those who find?  Ah, this

Nor tongue nor pen can show;

The love of Jesus, what it is,

None but His loved ones know.

5.  Jesus, our only Joy be Thou,

As Thou our Prize wilt be;

Jesus, be Thou our Glory now

And through eternity!

2 responses to “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee

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  2. Pingback: Feast of Edward Caswall (January 3) | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

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