The Gift

What dost thou bring me, O my Queen?

Author: Mechthild, of Magdeburg; Translator: Frances Bevan (1899)
Published in 1 hymnal

Full Text

“What dost thou bring me, O my Queen?
Love maketh thy steps to fly.”
Lord, to Thee my jewel I bring,
Greater than mountains high;
Broader than all the earth’s broad lands,
Heavier than the ocean sands,
And higher it is than the sky:
Deeper it is than the depths of the sea,
And fairer than the sun,
Unreckoned, as if the stars could be
All gathered into one.
“O thou My Godhead’s image fair,
Thou Eve from Adam framed,
My flesh, My bone, My life to share,
My Spirit’s diadem to wear,
How is thy jewel named?”

Lord, it is called my heart’s desire,
From the world’s enchantments won;
I have borne it afar through flood and fire
And will yield it up to none;
But the burden I can bear no more—
Where shall I lay it up in store?

“There is no treasure-house but this,
My heart divine, My Manhood’s breast;
There shall My Spirit’s sacred kiss
Fill thee with rest.”

Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series), 1899

Author: Mechthild, of Magdeburg

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 >

Text Information

First Line: What dost thou bring me, O my Queen?
Title: The Gift
Translator: Frances Bevan (1899)
Author: Mechthild, of Magdeburg
Language: English



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