My Eternal King

My God, I love Thee;
Not because I hope for heaven thereby,
Nor yet because who love Thee not must die eternally.
Thou, O my Jesus, Thou didst me upon the cross embrace;
For me didst bear the nails and spear, and manifold disgrace.
Why, then why, O blessed Jesus Christ, should I not love Thee well?
Not for the hope of winning heaven, or of escaping hell;
Not with the hope of gaining aught; not seeking a reward;
But as thyself hast loved me, O ever-loving Lord!
E’n so I love Thee, and will love, and in Thy praise will sing;
Solely because Thou art my God, and my Eternal King.

Anonymous seventeenth-century Latin poem
Translated by Rev. Edward Caswall