Friday, April 27, 2012

Breviary Poems

One of the nicest features of the (print) breviary is the selection of poems in an appendix at the end of the volume (both one and four volume breviaries). You may read a poem in place of the opening hymn any time you like. Here is one of my favorites--very appropriate for any Friday (remembrance of the passion), for lent, or for the Easter season. 

O God , I Love Thee
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
O God, I love thee, I love thee---
Not out of hope of heaven for me
Nor fearing not to love and be
In the everlasting burning.

Thou, thou, my Jesus, after me
Didst reach thine arms out dying,
For my sake sufferedst nails and lance,
Mocked and marred countenance,
Sorrows passing number,
Sweat, and care and cumber,
Yea, and death, and this for me.
And thou couldst see me sinning:

Then I, why should I not love thee,
Jesu, so much in love with me ?
Not for heaven's sake; not to be
Out of hell by loving thee;
Not for any gains I see;
But just the way that thou didst me
I do love and will love thee:

What must I love thee, Lord, for then ?
 For being my King and God.  Amen.
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Beautiful, yes?  At the suggestion of very literate blog-follower James McAuley, I think I'll start posting breviary poems more regularly.