Alas, that I so late have known Thee,
Thou, above all, the loveliest,
Ah, that I did not sooner own Thee,
Thou greatest good and final rest!
It grieves me, I am sore reproved
That I so late have loved.
But I was blind and went astray,
I sought and sought and was not sated;
from Thee, alas, I turned away
To love the things Thou hast created.
I want to love Thee, O my Lord,
I want to love Thee, O my crown,
To love Thee, yea, without reward
Though in dire need I be cast down;
Fair Light, I'll love Thee for Thy sake
Until my heart shall break!
Angelus Silesius (1624-1677)