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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Hymns. I. The Pain of Love (“Jesus! why dost Thou”)

Frederick William Faber (1814–1863)

JESUS! why dost Thou love me so?

What hast Thou seen in me

To make my happiness so great,

So dear a joy to Thee?

Wert Thou not God, I then might think

Thou hadst no eye to read

The badness of that selfish heart,

For which Thine own did bleed.

But Thou art God, and knowest all;

Dear Lord! Thou knowest me;

And yet Thy knowledge hinders not

Thy love’s sweet liberty.

Ah, how Thy grace hath wooed my soul

With persevering wiles!

Now give me tears to weep; for tears

Are deeper joy than smiles.

Each proof renewed of Thy great love

Humbles me more and more,

And brings to light forgotten sins,

And lays them at my door.

The more I love Thee, Lord! the more

I hate my own cold heart;

The more Thou woundest me with love,

The more I feel the smart.

What shall I do, then, dearest Lord!

Say, shall I fly from Thee,

And hide my poor unloving self

Where Thou canst never see?

Or shall I pray that Thy dear love

To me might not be given?

Ah, no! love must be pain on earth,

If it be bliss in Heaven.