I Love Thee, O Thou Lord Most High

I love Thee, O Thou Lord most high,
Because Thou first hast lovèd me:
I seek no other liberty
But that of being bound to Thee.
Refrain:
My God; I here protest to Thee
No other will I have than Thine;
Whatever Thou hast given me
I here again to Thee resign.

All mine is Thine, say but the word,
Whate’er Thou willest shall be done;
I know Thy love, all gracious Lord,
I know it seeks my good alone.
Refrain.

Apart from Thee, all things are nought;
Then grant, O my supremest Bliss,
Grant me to love Thee as I ought, –
Thou givest all in giving this!
Refrain.

My memory no tho’t suggest,
But shall to Thy pure glory tend;
My understanding find no rest
Except in Thee, its only end.
Refrain.

Words: Latin hymn, ca. 1695; parphrase of St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491 -1556); Tr. Fr. Edward Caswall, 1858, alt.
Tune: Unknown Tune

Here is the original Latin text of this hymn:

O Deus ego amo te,
Nam prior tu amasti me,
En libertate privo me
Ut sponte vinctus sequar te.

Nil suggerat memoria,
Nisi de tua gloria,
Nil intellectus sapiat,
Praeterquam ut te capiat.

Protestor nihil velle me
Nisi quod sciam velle te;
Quae dono tuo mea sunt,
Haec dono meo tua sunt.

A te accepi, recipe,
Quid iis velis, praecipe;
Guberna sicut scis, et vis,
Nam scio quod amator sis.

Amore solo dona me,
Ut ego quoque amem te;
Haec dando dabis omnia,
Nam cetera sunt somnia.

Certain parts of this hymn seem to be inspired bye St. Ignatius’ “Suscipe” prayer, in Latin here:

Suscipe, Domine, universam meam libertatem. Accipe memoriam, intellectum, atque voluntatem omnem. Quidquid habeo vel possideo mihi largitus es; id tibi totum restituo, ac tuae prorsus voluntati trado gubernandum. Amorem tui solum cum gratia tua mihi dones, et dives sum satis, nec aliud quidquam ultra posco. Amen.

And in traditional English translation here:

Receive, O Lord, all my liberty. Take my memory, my understanding, and my entire will. Whatsoever I have or possess Thou hast bestowed upon me; I give it all back to Thee and surrender it wholly to be governed by Thy Will. Give me love for Thee alone along with Thy grace, and I am rich enough and ask for nothing more. Amen.

Finally, here is Fr. Caswall’s original poem from his 1858 collection of poetry The Masque of Mary:

I love, I love Thee, Lord most high!
Because Thou first hast loved me;
I seek no other liberty
But that of being bound to Thee.

May memory no thought suggest,
But shall to Thy pure glory tend;
My understanding find no rest
Except in Thee, its only end.

My God, I here protest to Thee,
No other will have I than Thine;
Whatever Thou hast given me,
I here again to Thee resign.

All mine is Thine,—say but the word,
Whate’er Thou wiliest shall be done;
I know Thy love, all-gracious Lord;
I know it seeks my good alone.

Apart from Thee all things are naught;
Then grant, O my supremest bliss!
Grant me to love Thee as I ought;—
Thou givest all in giving this!

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About Noah

musings of a young Catholic aspiring to be faithful to his Lord and God Jesus Christ through His Holy Catholic Church
This entry was posted in Ancient & Mediaeval Hymns, Edward Caswall, Hymns By The Greats, Latin Hymns, Non-English Hymns, Praise to God, Saints of the Church (Canonized or Beatified), St. Ignatius of Loyola, The Christian Life And Mission. Bookmark the permalink.

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