Seven-Fold Joy
"Seven times a day do I praise Thee because of Thy righteous judgments." -- Ps. cxix.164.

Mechthild of Hellfde, 1277.

tr., Emma Frances Bevan, 1899

I bring unto Thy grace a seven-fold praise,

Thy wondrous love I bless --

I praise, remembering my sinful days,

My worthlessness.

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.

the exchange
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