Jesu Dulcis Memoria

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Jesu Dulcis Memoria is a Christian hymn often attributed to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. The name can refer either to the entire poem, which, depending on the manuscript, ranges from forty-two to fifty-three stanzas, or only the first part.

Three sections of it are used as hymns in the Liturgy of the Hours of the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus: "Iesu dulcis memoria" (Vespers), "Iesu rex admirabilis" (Office of Readings), "Iesu decus angelicum" (Lauds).

Several English hymns sung today are based on translations of Jesu Dulcis Memoria. These include "Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts" (1858 translation by Ray Palmer) and "Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee" (1849 translation by Edward Caswall).

Opening stanzas[edit]

(See Thesaurus Precum Latinarum)

Latin text Non-metrical (literal) English version Edward Caswall translation
Jesu dulcis memoria
dans vera cordi gaudia:
sed super mel et omnia
ejus dulcis praesentia.
Nil canitur suavius,
nil auditur jucundius,
nil cogitatur dulcius,
quam Jesus Dei Filius.
Jesu, spes paenitentibus,
quam pius es petentibus!
quam bonus te quaerentibus!
sed quid invenientibus?
Nec lingua valet dicere,
nec littera exprimere:
expertus potest credere,
quid sit Jesum diligere.
Sis, Jesu, nostrum gaudium,
qui es futurus praemium:
sit nostra in te gloria,
per cuncta semper saecula.
Amen.
The sweet memory of Jesus
Giving true joy to the heart,
But more than honey and all things [does so]
His sweet presence.
Nothing more delightful is sung,
Nothing more pleasing heard,
Nothing sweeter thought,
Than Jesus, the Son of God.
O Jesus, hope of the penitent,
How gracious you are to those who ask
How good to those who seek you;
But what [are you] to those who find?
No tongue may tell,
No letter express;
He who has experience of it can believe
What it is to love Jesus.
O Jesus, may you be our joy,
You who are our future reward.
May our glory be in you
Throughout all eternity.
Amen
Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills the breast!
Yet sweeter far Thy face to see
And in Thy Presence rest.
No voice can sing, no heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find,
A sweeter sound than Jesus' Name,
The Saviour of mankind.
O hope of every contrite heart!
O joy of all the meek!
To those who fall, how kind Thou art!
How good to those who seek!
But what to those who find? Ah! this
Nor tongue nor pen can show
The love of Jesus, what it is,
None but His loved ones know.
Jesus! our only hope be Thou,
As Thou our prize shalt be;
In Thee be all our glory now,
And through eternity.
Amen.

Music[edit]

The tune to which the hymn was sung can be heard at Oremus Hymnal. It has also been set to music by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Tomás Luis de Victoria, and others.

Tenth Avenue North covered the song from the album Cathedrals.

External links[edit]