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53

Quinquagesima Sunday.

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

From the Epistle. [1 Cor. 13:13]

8,8,8,8,8,8,8,8,8,8

Unter jenen grossen Gütern

Ernst Lange. 1711.

trans. by Catherine Winkworth, 1855

Many a gift did Christ impart,

Noblest of them all is Love,

Love, a balm within the heart

That can all its pains remove;

Love, a star most bright and pure;

Love, a gem of priceless worth,

Richer than man knows on earth;

Love, like beauty, strong to lure;

Love, like joy, makes man her thrall,

Strong to please and conquer all.

Love can give us all things; here

Use and beauty cannot sever;

Love can raise us to that sphere

Whence the soul tends heavenwards ever;

Though one speak with angel tongues

Bravest words of strength and fire,

If no love his heart inspire,

They are but as fleeting songs;

All his eloquence shall pass,

As the noise of sounding brass.

54

Science with her keen-eyed glance,

All the wisdom of the world,

Mysteries that the soul entrance,

Faith that mighty hills had hurled

From their ancient seats;--all this,

Wherein man takes most his pride,

Valueless is cast aside,

If the spirit there we miss,

That can work from love alone,

Not from pride in what is known.

Though I lavished all I have

On the poor in charity;

Though I shrank not from the grave,

Or unmoved the stake could see;

Though my body here were given

To the all-consuming flame;

If my mind were still the same,

Meeter were I not for heaven,

Till by Love my works were crowned,

Till in Love my strength were found.

Faith must conquer, Hope must bloom,

As our onward path we wend,

Else we came not through the gloom,

But with earth they also end:

Thou, O Love, doth stretch afar

Through the wide eternity,

And the soul arrayed in Thee

Shines for ever as a star.

Faith and hope must pass away,

Thou, O Love, endurest aye.

55

Come, thou Spirit of pure Love,

Who dost forth from God proceed,

Never from my heart remove,

Let me all Thy impulse heed;

All that seeks self-profit first,

Rather than another's good,

Whether foe or linked in blood,

Let me hold such thought accurst;

And my heart henceforward be

Ruled, inspired, O Love, by thee!

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