Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
 
II. Prayer and Aspiration
The Love of God Supreme
Gerhard Tersteegen (1697–1769)
 
From the German by John Wesley

THOU hidden love of God, whose height,
  Whose depth unfathomed no man knows,
I see from far thy beauteous light,
  Inly I sigh for thy repose.
My heart is pained, nor can it be        5
At rest till it finds rest in thee.
 
Thy secret voice invites me still
  The sweetness of thy yoke to prove,
And fain I would; but though my will
  Be fixed, yet wide my passions rove.        10
Yet hindrances strew all the way;
I aim at thee, yet from thee stray.
 
’T is mercy all that thou hast brought
  My mind to seek her peace in thee.
Yet while I seek but find thee not        15
  No peace my wand’ring soul shall see.
Oh! when shall all my wand’rings end,
And all my steps to-thee-ward tend?
 
Is there a thing beneath the sun
  That strives with thee my heart to share?        20
Ah! tear it thence and reign alone,
  The Lord of every motion there.
Then shall my heart from earth be free,
When it has found repose in thee.
 
Oh! hide this self from me, that I        25
  No more, but Christ in me, may live.
My vile affections crucify,
  Nor let one darling lust survive.
In all things nothing may I see,
Nothing desire or seek but thee.        30
 
O Love, thy sovereign aid impart,
  To save me from low-thoughted care;
Chase this self-will through all my heart,
  Through all its latent mazes there.
Make me thy duteous child, that I        35
Ceaseless may Abba, Father, cry.
 
Ah! no; ne’er will I backward turn:
  Thine wholly, thine alone I am.
Thrice happy he who views with scorn
  Earth’s toys, for thee his constant flame.        40
Oh! help, that I may never move
From the blest footsteps of thy love.
 
Each moment draw from earth away
  My heart, that lowly waits thy call.
Speak to my inmost soul, and say,        45
  “I am thy Love, thy God, thy All.”
To feel thy power, to hear thy voice,
To taste thy love is all my choice.
 
 
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