Late have I loved you, beauty so old and so new


Late have I loved you, beauty so old and so new:

late have I loved you.

And see, you were within and I was in the external world

and sought you there, and in my unlovely state

I plunged into those lovely created things which you made.

You were with me, and I was not with you.

The lovely things kept me far from you,

though if they did not have their existence in you,

they had no existence at all.

You called and cried out loud

and shattered my deafness.

You were radiant and resplendent,

you put to flight my blindness.

You were fragrant, and I drew in my breath

and now pant after you.

I tasted you, and I feel

but hunger and thirst for you.

You touched me, and I am set on fire

to attain the peace which is yours.


From the book “Confessions” (Confessiones, lib. 10, 27.38)
Translation by Henry Chadwick and Albert Cook Outler
Published by Oxford University Press in 1998