O Lord, thou lovèdst me, ere shone the light

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O Lord, thou lovèdst me, ere shone the light
by François Louis Frédéric Chavannes, translated by Henry Downton

As published in Issue 1677 of Littell's Living Age (July 29, 1876)

(FROM THE FRENCH OF FRED. CHAVANNES.)
"Tu m'as aimé, seigneur, avant que la lumiere."

O Lord, thou lovèdst me, ere shone the light
Upon the worlds thy voice had called to be;
Ere yet the sun, rejoicing in his might,
Shed life in floods athwart their orbits bright;
My God, thou lovèdst me.

Thou lovèdst me, when hung the lifeless frame
Of Jesus Christ upon th' accursèd tree;
When to redeem me from th' eternal flame
Thy holy Son endured my sin and blame;
My God, thou lovèdst me.

Thou lovèdst me, when fires of love divine,
Lit in my heart by Thy good Spirit free;
Opened new heavens upon my soul to shine;
When peaceful fruits of righteousness were mine;
My God, thou lovèdst me.

And thou wilt love me, — whom thy love hath crowned
Nor sin, nor earth, nor hell shall pluck from thee;
Where sin abounded, grace doth more abound;
Only my love to thine be answering found,
O thou, who lovèdst me!