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Poems of St. Teresa, Carmelite of Lisieux, known as the 'Little Flower of Jesus'
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CANTICLE OF ST. AGNES.

“My only Love is Christ.”

From the Acts of her Martyrdom

Christ is my Love alone, all life is He for me;

He is my one Betrothed, Who charms my dazzled eyes;

E’en now I hear vibrate the solemn harmony

Of His melodious sighs.

With precious stones and gold He decks my flowing hair,

Already on my hand shines bright His nuptial ring;

And many lustrous stars, magnificently fair,

Are love-gifts from my King.

With pearls, all price beyond, has He adorned my hands;

About my neck He placed a necklace wondrous bright;

Celestial rubies red, from far-off unknown lands,

Bedeck my ears to-night.

Betrothed am I to Him on Whom the angels wait,

Trembling before His throne throughout eternity;

The sun and moon His praise with rapture will relate,

Till time shall cease to be.

Divine His Person is; heaven is His realm of bliss;

He for His Mother chose a Virgin here on earth;

Who no beginning hath, nor end, His Father is, —

­Eternal is that birth.

Ah! when this Jesus Christ at times to touch I dare,

More pure becomes my heart; more chaste, dear Lord, am I!

The kisses of His mouth give me the treasure fair

Of blest virginity.

His signet He hath set already on my face,

That so no earthly love may dare draw nigh to me;

Kept thus for Christ alone, by His abiding grace,

His perfect purity.

Cleansed by the precious Blood He shed on Calvary’s cross,

Already here I taste of heaven’s matchless bliss;

The honey and the milk — with joys that know not loss —

Come to me with His kiss.

No thought of fear have I, of either flame or sword:

For naught can now disturb this perfect heavenly peace

A fire of love divine pervades my soul, O Lord:

And never shall it cease.

January21, 1896.

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