This beautiful poem expresses for me what pure love is. Love that seeks no reward. Love unfettered by fear. Love that is free! Love that simply longs for and pursues the beloved–and nothing else matters!
I am not moved to love Thee, O my Lord,
By any longing for Thy Promised Land;
Nor by the fear of hell am I unmanned
To cease from my transgressing deed or word.
‘Tis Thou Thyself dost move me–Thy blood poured
Upon the cross from nailed foot and hand;
And all the wounds that did Thy body brand;
And all Thy shame and bitter death’s award.
Yea, to Thy heart am I so deeply stirred
That I would love Thee were no heaven on high–
That I would fear, were hell a tale absurd!
Such my desire, all questioning grows vain;
Though hope deny me hope I still should sigh,
And as my love is now, it should remain.
Anonymous (16th or 17th century)
Translated from the Spanish by Thomas Walsh
O brothers and sisters, let our love for our Lord be so pure as this anonymous poet’s was!