I Have Learnt to Love You Late

I have learnt to love you late,

Beauty at once so ancient and so new!

I have learnt to love you late!

You were within me, and I was in the world outside myself.

I searched for you outside myself and, disfigured as I was,

I fell upon the lovely things of your creation.

The beautiful things of this world kept me from you and yet,

If they had not been in you, they would have had no being at all.

It was you then, O Lord, who made them.

You who are beautiful, for they too are beautiful.

You who are good, for they too are good.

You who are, for they too are.

But they are not beautiful and good as you are beautiful and good.

Nor do they have their being as you the Creator have your being.

In comparison with you, they have neither beauty nor goodness nor being at all.

– Augustine, Confessions

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