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Attributed to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, the original poem consists of 53 stanzas.

lyrics

Jesu, dulcis memoria,
dans vera cordis 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.

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TRANSLATION
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The sweet thought of Jesus
Giving true joy to the heart,
But the sweetness of his presence
Is above honey and all else.

Nothing more lovely is sung,
Nothing more delightful is heard,
Nothing sweeter is thought,
Than Jesus, the Son of God.

Jesus, hope of the penitent,
How kind you are to those who petition you!
How good to those who seek you!
But how much more are you to those who discover you?

No tongue may tell,
No writing express;
What one who has experienced the love of Jesus
Can attest to.

May Jesus be our joy,
You, who will be our reward.
May our glory be in you
Throughout all the ages.

(Translation by Donna Stewart)

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Mignarda Danby, New York

Mignarda specializes in thoughtful programming illuminating the vibrant mingling of renaissance music & poetry. Noted for awakening modern audiences to an appreciation for historical music, their work encompasses concertizing, teaching & recording, with ten critically-acclaimed CDs, a series of 12 music editions, scholarly articles, reviews and the internationally-popular blog, Unquiet Thoughts. ... more

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