Ich will dich lieben, meine Stärke

Author: Angelus Silesius

Pen name of Johann Scheffler… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Ich will dich lieben, meine Stärke
Author: Angelus Silesius
Language: German


Ich will dich lieben, meine Stärke. J. Scheffler. [Love to Christ.] One of the finest of his hymns, breathing a deep spirit of ardent devotion to the Saviour. First pub. as No. 10 in Bk. i., 1657, of his Heilige Seelenlust (Werke, 1862, i. p. 41), in 8 stanzas of 6 lines, entitled,"She [the Soul] promises to love Him even unto death." It passed through Freylinghausen's Gesang-Buch, 1704, into many recent collections, and is No. 317 in the Unverfälschter Liedersegen, 1851. Translated as:—
1. Thee will I love, my strength, my tower, Thee will I love, my joy, my crown, a fine translation omitting stanza ii., by J. Wesley, in Hymns & Sacred Poems, 1739 (Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. i. p. 176), two lines, "That all my powers," &c, being taken from Bishop Ken. Included in the Wesley Hymns & Spiritual Songs , 1753; Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1780 and 1875; and recently in many English and American collections. The form beginning, "I thank Thee, uncreated Sun," in the American Methodist Episcopal Hymns, 1849, and the Plymouth Collection, 1855, commences with Wesley's stanza iv.
2. Thee will I love, my strength, my glory, a free translation of stanza i., by A. T. Russell, as No. 57 in the Dalston Hospital Hymn Book, 1848. In his own Psalms & Hymns, 1851, No. 186, he added free translations of stanzas v., vi.
3. I will love Thee, all my treasure! by Mrs. Findlater, in the 2nd Ser., 1855, of the Hymns from the Land of Luther, p. 13 (ed. 1884, p. 80), omitting stanza ii. Included, more or less altered or abridged, in Cantate Domino, Boston, U.S., 1859, Andover Sabbath Hymn Book, 1858, &c.
4. Thee will I love, my strength, my tower, Thee will I love, my Hope, my Joy, a good translation, omitting stanzas ii., vii., by Miss Winkworth, as No. 150 in her Chorale Book for England, 1863.
Other translations are, (1) "Alas that I not earlier knew Thee" (beginning with stanza iii.) in the Christian Examiner, Boston, U. S., Sept., 1860, p. 246. (2) "Thee will I love, my Strength, my Tower, Thee will I love, my Joy, my Peace," by R. Massie, in the British Herald, April, 1865, p. 56, repeated in Reid's Praise Book, 1872, No. 384. (3) "Thee will I love, my crown, my treasure," by R. Massie, in the Day of Rest, 1879, P- 277. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)