Jesu, the very thought of thee
With sweetness fills my breast;
But sweeter far thy face to see,
And in thy presence rest.
Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find,
A sweeter sound than thy blest name,
O Saviour of mankind!
O hope of every contrite heart,
O joy of all the meek,
To those who fall, how kind thou art!
How good to those who seek!
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.
Jesu, our only joy be thou,
As thou our prize wilt be;
Jesu, be thou our glory now,
And through eternity.
- Translation by Edward Caswall
Jesu! the very thought is sweet;
In that dear name all heart-joys meet;
But O, than honey sweeter far
The glimpses of his presence are.
No word is sung more sweet that this,
No sound is heard more full of bliss,
No thought brings sweeter comfort nigh,
Than Jesus, Son of God most high.
Jesu, the hope of souls forlorn,
How good to them for sin that mourn!
To them that seek thee, O how kind!
But what art thou to them that find?
No tongue of mortal can express,
No pen can write, the blessedness:
He only who hath proved it knows
What bliss from love of Jesus flows.
O Jesu, King of wondrous might!
O Victor, glorious from the fight!
Sweetness that may not be exprest,
And altogether loveliest!
Abide with us, O Lord, today,
Fulfil us with thy grace, we pray;
And with thine own true sweetness feed
Our souls, from sin and darkness freed.
- Translation by John Mason Neale
Jesu, thou joy of loving hearts,
Thou fount of life, thou light of men,
From the best bliss that earth imparts
We turn unfilled to thee again.
Thy truth unchanged has ever stood,
Thou savest those that on thee call;
To them that seek thee, thou art good,
To them that find thee, all in all.
We taste thee, O thou living bread,
And long to feast upon thee still;
We drink of thee, the fountainhead,
And thirst our souls from thee to fill.
Our restless spirits yearn for thee,
Where'er our changeful lot is cast,
Glad when thy gracious smile we see,
Blest when our faith can hold thee fast.
O Jesu, ever with us stay,
Make all our moments calm and bright;
Chase the dark night of sin away,
Shed o'er the world thy holy light.
- Translation by Ray Palmer , ca. 1858