I bring unto Thy grace a seven-fold praise,
Thy wondrous love I bless—
I praise, remembering my sinful days,
I praise that I am waiting, Lord, for Thee,
When, all my wanderings past,
Thyself wilt bear me, and wilt welcome me
To home at last.
I praise Thee that for Thee I long and pine,
For Thee I ever yearn;
I praise Thee that such fitful love as mine
Thou dost not spurn;
I praise Thee for the hour when first I saw
The glory of Thy face,
Here dimly, but in fulness evermore
In that high place.
I praise Thee for a mystery unnamed,
Unuttered here below;
Unspeakable in words the lips have framed,
Yet passing sweet to know.
It is the still, the everlasting tide,
The stream of Love Divine,
That from the heart of God for evermore
Flows into mine.
To that deep joy that bindeth Heart to heart
In one eternal love,
A still small stream that flows unseen below
An endless sea above,
To that high love, that fathomless delight,
No thought of man may reach;
And yet beyond it is a seven-fold bliss
Most holy of God’s holy mysteries,
Untold in speech.
Faith only hath beheld that secret place,
Faith only knows how great, how high, how fair,
The Temple where the Lord unveils His Face
To His belovèd there.
O how unfading is that pure delight!
How full the joy of that exhaustless tide
Which flows for ever in its glorious might,
So still, so wide!
And deep we drink with sweet eternal thirst,
With lips for ever eager as at first,
Yet ever satisfied.
Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series), 1899
Mechthild of Helfta, or Mathilde in modern spelling, was a mystic author who lived in the Cisterian nunnery at Helfta near Eisleben, Germany. She is also known as Mechthild of Hackeborn, her parents' home. She was a younger sister of St. Gerturde of Hackeborn. She is mentioned in Bocaccio's Decameron, VII, 1, and in canto 28 of Dante's Purgatory. Cf. "Liber specialis gratiae" in Revelations Gertrudianae ac Mechtildianae (1877).
Her "Liber specialis gratiae" was popular in England and was translated into English in the fifteenth century. More recently it has been edited by Theresa A. Halligan as The Booke of Gostlye Grace of Mechtild of Hackeborn (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1979).
--Leonard Ellinwood, DNAH Arch… Go to person page >
Translator: Frances Bevan
Bevan, Emma Frances, née Shuttleworth, daughter of the Rev. Philip Nicholas Shuttleworth, Warden of New Coll., Oxford, afterwards Bishop of Chichester, was born at Oxford, Sept. 25, 1827, and was married to Mr. R. C. L. Bevan, of the Lombard Street banking firm, in 1856.
Mrs. Bevan published in 1858 a series of translations from the German as Songs of Eternal Life (Lond., Hamilton, Adams, & Co.), in a volume which, from its unusual size and comparative costliness, has received less attention than it deserves, for the trs. are decidedly above the average in merit. A number have come into common use, but almost always without her name, the best known being those noted under “O Gott, O Geist, O Licht dea Lebens," and "Jedes Herz will etwas… Go to person page >