Posted by: chuckbumgardner | January 18, 2008

Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts

Jesus, Thou Joy of loving hearts,
Thou Fount of life, Thou Light of men,
From the best bliss that earth imparts,
We turn unfilled to Thee again.

Thy truth unchanged hath ever stood;
Thou savest those that on Thee call;
To them that seek Thee Thou art good,
To them that find Thee all in all.

We taste Thee, O Thou living Bread,
And long to feast upon Thee still;
We drink of Thee, the Fountainhead,
And thirst our souls from Thee to fill.

Our restless spirits yearn for Thee,
Wherever our changeful lot is cast;
Glad when Thy gracious smile we see,
Blessed when our faith can hold Thee fast.

O Jesus, ever with us stay,
Make all our moments calm and bright;
Chase the dark night of sin away,
Shed over the world Thy holy light.


This hymn is drawn from a Latin poem attributed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Jesu dulcis memoria.  The above English text is from Ray Palmer (1858). Interestingly, another English hymn drawn from the Latin poem is “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee,” by Edward Caswall (1849).  The original Latin poem had something like fifty stanzas.  

Here is another hymn drawn from Je­su dul­cis me­mor­i­a. This is found in the 1906 Early Christian Hymns, translated by Daniel Donahoe.

Jesus, thy memory divine
To every heart is heav’nly wine;
But sweetness more than sweetest things
Thy presence in the bosom brings.
Such gladness ne’er hath poet sung,
Such joy ne’er pleasured ear or tongue,
To man no dream, so sweet e’er came,
Dear Son of God, as thy blest name.
True hope of all repenting hearts,
What tender joy thy love imparts!
Thou givest thy seekers here below
Such bliss as only they can know.
O Lord, if we but claim thy love,
Our souls are lighted from above,
And feel such wondrous happiness
As tongue or pen can ne’er express.
Be still our joy and stay, dear Lord,
Our guide, our hope, our sweet reward;
Let praise and love and glory be
Sung to thy name eternally.

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