Late Have I Loved You

have I loved you,
O Beauty
ever ancient,
ever new,
have I loved you!
were within me,
but I
was outside,
and it was there
that I searched for you.
In my unloveliness
I plunged
into the lovely things
which you created.
were with me,
but I
was not with you.
Created things kept
me from you;
yet if they had not been
in you
they would have not been
at all.
You called,
you shouted,
and you broke
through my deafness.
You flashed,
you shone,
and you dispelled
my blindness.
You breathed
your fragrance
on me; I drew in breath
and now I pant
for you.
I have tasted
now I hunger and thirst
for more.
You touched me,
and I burned
for your peace.

--St. Augustine, set to free verse, from the Confessions

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