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Poems Of SR. TERESA, Carmelite of Lisieux

known as The
"Little Flower of Jesus,"



JESUS, MY WELL BELOVED, REMEMBER THOU!

"My daughter, seek for those of My Words, that breathe forth the most love;
write them, and then, guarding them with great care, as you would holy relics,
be sure that you read them often. When a friend desires to re-awaken in the
heart of his friend the first freshness and warmth of his affection, he says to
him : 'Do you remember your feelings when you said such a word to me one day?'
or again: 'Do you remem­ber what you felt on such an occasion? in such a place?
at such a time?' In like manner do you, too, believe that the most precious
relics of Me to be found on earth today are the words of My love, the words
that came from the depths of My loving Heart."
Our Divine Lord to St. Gertrude.

Recall, O Christ! the Father's glories bright,
Recall the splendors of Thy heavenly home,
Which Thou didst leave, to come to earth's dark night,
And save poor sinners who in exile roam!
Dear Jesus! bending down at Mary's humble word,
In her Thou didst conceal Thy majesty adored.
Now that maternal breast,
Thy second heaven, Thy rest,
Remember Thou!

Remember, now, the day of Thy blest birth,
How angels, quitting heaven, sang joyously:
"To God be power, glory, lasting worth;
And peace to men of good will ever be!"
For nineteen hundred years Thy promise Thou hast kept;
Thy children in that peace have waked, and worked, and slept.
To taste forever here
Thy peace, divinely dear,
I seek Thee now.

Remember O Thou Babe in swaddling bands!
Beside Thy crib I would forever stay.
There, with Thine angels, Lord of all the lands!
I would remind thee of that happy day.
O Jesus! call to mind the shepherds and wise men,
Who offered Thee their hearts, as I mine own again;
The Babes of Bethlehem see,
Who gave their blood for Thee.
Remember Thou!

Remember Thou that Mary's holy arms
Thou didst prefer to any royal throne.
Dear little One! she shielded Thee from harm,
She fed Thee with her virginal milk alone.
Oh, at that feast of love Thy mother gave to Thee,
My little Brother, grant that I a guest may be,
Thy little sister I.
Oh, hear my ardent cry:
Remember Thou!

Remember that Thy childish voice, dear Lord!
Called Joseph father, who, at heaven's decree,
Prevailed to snatch Thee from the tyrant's sword,
And sought old Egypt's far off coast with Thee.
O Word of God! recall what mysteries round Thee woke;
Thou didst keep silent, Lord! the while an angel spoke.
Thy distant, long exile
On banks of ancient Nile,
Remember now.

Remember Thou that on my native shore,
The stars of gold, the moon of silver bright,
Which I contemplate, wondering more and more,
Charmed in the East Thine infant eyes at night.
That tiny hand of Thine, that stroked Thy Mother's face,
Sustained the world, held all things in their place;
And Thou didst think of me!
Ah! how I think of Thee,
Remember now.

Remember Thou, in solitude most blest,
Thou laboredst with Thy hands for daily bread.
To live forgotten,‑- this Thy earnest quest,
All human wisdom trampled 'neath Thy tread,
One single word of Thine could charm a listening world;
Yet Thou Thy wisdom kept in closest silence furled.
Thou, Who didst all things know,
No sign of power wouldst show.
Remember Thou!

Remember how, - Stranger and Pilgrim here,
Thou hadst no'home, O Thou Eternal Word!
Not e'en a pillow for Thy head most dear;
Not e'en a shelter, like the flitting bird.
O Jesu, come to me! Rest Thou upon my breast.
Come, Come! My spirit longs to have Thee for its Guest.
Thou well beloved, adored!
Rest in my heart, dear Lord,
Ever as now!

Remember Thou, the loving tenderness
That Thou didst show to children seeking Thee.
Like them I would receive Thv kind caress;
Like them, Thy blessings, Lord, be granted me.
That I in heaven may gain Thy welcome and Thy rest,
Here will I practise well all childhood's virtues best.
"The childlike soul wins heaven."
This promise Thou hast given,
Remember Thou!

Remember Thou that on the fountain's brink,-
A traveller, weary with the journey's length,-
Thou of the sinful tenderly didst think,
And for contrition gave her lasting strength.
I know Thee well Who asked, of her, the draught, that day.
Thou art "the Gift of God," the Life, the Truth the Way.
Thou wilt not pass me by.
I hear Thy tender cry:
"Come to Me now!"

"Come unto Me, poor souls with sorrow tost!
Your heavy load My hands shall take away;
Your griefs and pains shall be forever lost,
Within the depths of love I feel for aye."
I thirst, I thirst, 0 Christ! Nought else I seek, save Thee.
Borne down beneath my cross, I cry: "O comfort me!"
Be Thy dear love my home!
I come! Yes, Lord, I come!
Receive me now!

Remember Thou that, though a child of light,
Too oft, alas! I have neglected Thee.
Take pity on me in life's dreary night;
Oh, pardon all my sin and misery!
Make my sad heart rejoice Thy holy will to do;
My soul to those delights, hid in Thy gospels, woo!
That I that book of gold
Ever most dear did hold,
Remember Thou!

Remember Thou Thy holy Mother's power
That she possesses o'er Thy Heart divine.
Remember, at her prayer, one joyful hour,
Thou didst change water to delicious wine.
Deign also to transform my works, though poor they be;
Oh, make them glorious works, when Mary pleads with Thee.
That I am Marv's child,
Dear Jesus, meek and mild,
Remember Thou!

Remember that the summits of the hills
Thou often didst ascend at set of sun.
Ah! how Thy prayer the long, long night hours fills,
Thy chants of praise when weary day is done.
Thy prayer I offer now, with ever new delight,
Joined to my own poor prayers, my office, day and night.
That I, too, near Thy heart,
Take in Thy prayer my part,
Remember Thou!

Remember that Thine eyes beheld the fields
White to the harvest,- harvest of the blest!
Thy Heart o'er them Its mystic influence wields;
Within that Heart is room for all, and rest.
That soon may come for Thee Thy glorious harvest day,
I immolate myself, I offer prayers alway.
I give my joys, my tears,
For thy good harvesters.
Remember Thou!

Recall that feast of angels in delight,
That harmony of heaven's kingly host,
The joy of all those choirs of spirits bright,
When one is saved, once counted 'mongst the lost.
Oh, how I would augment that joy and glory there!
For sinners I will pray with ceaseless, ardent prayer.
To win dear souls to heaven,
My life and prayers are given.
Remember Thou!

Remember that most holy flame of love
Thou wouldst enkindle in all hearts alway.
To me it came from Thy fair heaven above;
Would I could spread its fires by night and day!
One feeble spark, dear Lord!- 0 glorious mystery!-
A fire immense can light, if fanned to flame by Thee.
I long, Divinest Star!
To bear Thy flames afar.
Remember Thou!

Remember how the festal board was graced,
To feast the penitent returning son!
Remember, too, the innocent soul is placed
Ever near Thee, O Thou Beloved One!
Unto the prodigal no welcome is denied;
But, ah! the elder son is always at Thy side.
Father, and Love Divine,
All that Thou hast is mine.
Remember Thou!

Remember how Thou didst disdain earth's pride,
When working miracles with God's own ease.
"Ye who seek human praise! can ye decide
To give your faith to mysteries like these?
The great works that I do, (so Thou hast said, dear Lord!)
My friends shall yet surpass, according to My word."
How humble Thou wast then,
Among the sons of men.
Remember Thou!

Remember in what rapture of delight
The loved apostle rested on Thy Heart.
In that deep peace he knew Thy love and might;
Thy mysteries thence he drew, - how strong Thou art!
Of Thy beloved John I feel no jealousy.
I am Thy choice; I, too, behold the mysterv.
I, too, upon Thy breast
May have ecstatic rest.
Remember Thou!

Recall Thine awful hour of agony
When blood and tears bore witness to Thy woe.
O pearls of love! O rubies fair to see!
Thence virginal blooms of beauty ever grow.
An angel, showing Thee what harvest Thou shouldst reap,
Gave gladness to Thee, then, even while Thou didst weep.
Then truly didst Thou see,
Amongst those lilies, me!
Remember nowl

Thy blood, Thy tears, - a fruitful living source,
Those mystic flowers, makes virginal evermore;
And to them grants a wondrous, holy force,
For winning souls to serve Thee and adore.
A virginal heart is mine; yet, Christ, what mystery!
Mother of souls am I, through my chaste bond with Thee.
These virginal flowers that bloom
To bring poor sinners home,
Remember Thou!

Remember Thou, that, steeped in direst woe,
Condemned by men, to heaven Thine eyes were raised;
And Thou didst cry: " Soon ye My power shall know.
Soon shall ye hear My name by angels praised! "
Yet who believed Thee, then, the Son of God to be,
­ Thy glory veiled and hid in our humanity?
Fairest of sons of men!
My God! I knew Thee then!
Remember now!

Remember that Thy dear, divinest Face,
Even among Thy friends, was oft unknown.
But Thou hast drawn me by its matchless grace;
Thou knowest well I claimed it for mine own.
I have divined its charms, tho' wet with human tears.
Face of Eternal God! I love Thee all these years.
Part of my name Thou art!
Thou dost console mv heart.
Remember Thou! *

Remember Thou that amorous complaint,
Escaping from Thy lips on Calvary's tree:
"I thirst!" Oh, how my heart like Thine doth faint.
Yes, yes! I share Thy burning thirst with Thee.
The more my heart burns bright with Thy great Heart's chaste fires,
The more I thirst for souls, to quench Thy Heart's desires.
That with such love always
I burn, by night, by day,
Remember Thou!

Remember, O my Jesu! Word of life!
That Thou hast loved me, dying e'en for me.
Oh, let me be with holy folly rife!
So would I, also, live and die for Thee!
Thou knowest, Lord! my wish, my loving heart's desire, -
To make Thee loved, and then, in martyrdom expire.
I long of love to die.
O hear my ardent cry.
Remember Thou!

Recall that glorious, that victorious hour,
When Thou didst say: "Happy indeed is he,
Who has not seen My triumph and My power,
But, seeing not, has still believed in Me."
In faith's dim, shadowy night, I love Thee, I adore.
Jesu, I wait in peace, till faith's long night is o'er.
That not one wish had I
To see Thee 'neath this sky,
Remember Thou!

Remember that ascending unto God,
Thou wouldst not leave us orphans sad and lone,
But didst, a Prisoner still, where we abode,
Veil on our altars all Thy pomp, my Own!
The shadow of Thv veil is, oh! how pure and bright,
Thou Living Bread of faith, heaven's Food, my heart's Delight.
O mystery of love!
My Bread from heaven above,
Jesus, 'tis Thou!

Remember Thou, in spite of insults hurled
Against this sacrament of love divine,
Thou dost remain in this dull, weary world,
And fix Thy dwelling in a heart like mine.
O Bread of exiled souls! holy and heavenly Host!
No more I live -not I! in Thee my life is lost.
Thy chosen ciborium
Am I. Come, Jesu, come!
My Love art Thou.

Thy sanctuary here, dear Lord, am I,
That evil men shall never dare molest.
Rest in my, heart! Oh, do not pass me by!
Thy garden I, each flower an offering blest.
But if from me Thou turn, white Lily of the vale!
I know too well those flowers would wither and would fail.
Ever, Thou Lily rare!
Bloom in my garden fair.
My life art Thou!

Remember that I longed upon this earth,
To comfort Thee for sinners' scorn of Thee.
Give me a thousand hearts to praise Thy worth.
My Well Beloved! abide, abide with me!
A thousand hearts too few would be for my desire;
Give me Thy Heart to set my longing heart on fire.
My ardent love for Thee,
While swift the moments flee,
Remember Thou!

Remember, Lord! that Thy dear will alone
Is my sole wish, my only happiness.
I give mvself to Thee, to rest, mine Own!
With Thee in peace, and know Thy power to bless.
And if Thou seems't to sleep while raging waves beat high,
In peace I still remain, without one anguished cry.
In peace, on Thee, I wait;
But, for th' Awakening great,
Prepare me Thou!

Remember how I often long and sigh
For that last day when angels shall proclaim:
"Time is no morel The judgment draweth nigh.
Rise thou, to face thy judge! He calls thy name."
Then swiftly shall I fly, past bounds of earth in space,
To live at last within the Vision of Thy Face.
That it alone can be
My joy eternally,
Remember Thou!

               October 21, 1895.




TO THE SACRED HEART


Beside the tomb wept Magdalen at dawn,-
She sought to find the dead and buried Christ;
Nothing could fill the void now He was gone,
No one to soothe her burning grief sufficed.
Not even you, Archangels heaven assigned!
To her could bring content that dreary day.
Your buried King, alone, she longed to find,
And bear His lifeless body far away.

Beside His tomb she there the last remained,
And there again was she before the sun;
There, too, to come to her the Saviour deigned,-
He would not be, by her, in love outdone.
Gently He showed her then His bless~d Face,
And one word sprang from His deep Heart's recess:
Maryl His voice she knew, she knew its grace;
It came with perfect peace her heart to bless.

One day, my God! I, too, like Magdalen,
Desired to find Thee, to draw near to Thee;
So, over earth's immense, stretching plain,
I sought its Master and its King to see
. Then cried I, though I saw the flowers bloom
In beauty 'neath green trees and azure skies:
O brilliant Naturel thou art one vast tomb,
Unless God's Face shall greet my longing eyes."
A heart I need, to soothe me and to bless,-
A strong support that can not pass away,-
To love me wholly, e'en my feebleness,
And never leave me through the night or day.
There is not one created thing below,
Can love me truly, and can never die.
God become man none else' my needs can know;
He, He alone, can understand my cry.

Thou comprehendest all I need, dear Lord!
To win my heart, from heaven Thou didst come;
For me Thy blood didst shed, O King adored!
And on our altars makest Thy home.
So, if I may not here behold Thy Face,
Or catch the heaenly music of Thy Voice,
I still can live, each moment, by Thy grace,
And in Thy Sacred Heart I can rejoice.

O Heart of Jesus, wealth of tenderness!
My joy Thou art, in Thee I safely hide.
Thou, Who my earliest youth didst charm and bless,
Till my last evening, oh! with me abide,
All that I had, to Thee I wholly gave,
To Thee each deep desire of mine is known.
Whoso his life shall lose, that life shall save;-
Let mine be ever lost in Thine alone!

I know it well, -no righteousness of mine
Hath any value in Thy searching eyes;
Its every breath my heart must draw from Thine,
To make of worth my life's long sacrifice.
Thou hast not found Thine angels without taint;
Thy Law amid the thunderbolts was given;
And yet, my Jesus! I nor fear nor faint.
For me, on Calvary, Thy Heart was riven.
To see Thee in Thy glory face to face,-
I know it well, - the soul must pass through fires.
Choose I on earth my purgatorial place, -
The flaming love of Thy great Heart's desires!
So shall my exiled soul, to death's command,
Make answer with one cry of perfect love;
Then flying straight to heaven its Fatherland,
Shall reach with no delay that home above.

               October, 1895.




THE ETERNAL CANTICLE.

SUNG IN BANISHMENT.

Exiled afar from heaven, I still, dear Lord, can sing, -
I, Thy betrothed, can sing the eternal hymn of love;
For, spite of exile comes to me, on dove like wing,
Thy Holy Spirit's fire of rapture from above.
Beauty supreme! my Love Thou art;
Thyself Thou givest all to me.
Oh, take my heart, my yearning heart, -
Make of my life one act of love to Thee!

Canst Thou my worthlessness efface?
In heart like mine canst make Thy home?
Yes, love wins love,-O wondrous grace!
I love Thee, love Thee! Jesu, come I

Love that enkindleth me,
Pierce and inflame me;
Come, for I cry to Thee!
Come and be mine
! Thy love it urgeth me;
Fain would I ever be
Sunken and lost in Thee,
Furnace divine!
All pain bome for Thee
Changes to joy for me,
When my love flies to Thee,
Winged like the dove.
Heavenly Completeness,
Infinite Sweetness,
My soul possesseth Thee
Here, as above.
Heavenly Completeness,
Infinite sweetness,

Naught else art Thou but Love! *Note: The swiftly varying metres of this rapturous "Canticle" evidently are
meant to indicate the ever increasing ecstasy of the singer; unless, indeed,
Soeur Theresa had no explicit intention, but was simply carried on by the force
of a quasi inspiration.

               March 19, 1896.




"I THIRST FOR LOVE."

In wondrous love Thou didst come down from heaven
To immolate Thyself, O Christ, for me;
So, in my turn, my love to Thee is given,
I wish to suffer and to die for Thee.

Thou, Lord, hast spoken this truth benign:
"To die for one loved tenderly
Of greatest love on earth is sign;"
And now, such love is mine,--
Such love for Thee!

Abide, abide with me, 0 Pilgrim blest!
Behind the hill fast sinks the dying day.
Helped by Thy cross I mount the rocky crest;
Oh, come, to guide me on my heavenward way.

To be like Thee is my desire;
Thy voice finds echo in my soul.
Suffering I crave! Thy words of fire
Lift me above earth's mire,
And sin's control.

Chanting Thy victories, gloriously sublime,
The Seraphim - all heaven - cry to me,
That even Thou, to conquer sin and crime,
Upon this earth a sufferer needs must be.

For me, upon life's dreary way,
What scorn, what anguish, Thou didst bear
Let me grow humble every day
, Be least of all, alway,
Thy lot to share!

Ah, Christ! Thy great example teaches me
Myself to humble, honors to despise.
Little and low like Thee I choose to be,
Forgetting self, so I may charm Thine eyes.
My peace I find in solitude,
Nor ask I more, dear Lord, than this:
Be Thou my sole beatitude,
Ever, in Thee, renewed
My joy, my bliss!

Thou, the great God Whom earth and heaven adore,
Thou dwellest a prisoner for me night and day;
And every hour I hear Thy voice implore:
" I thirst I thirst I thirst for love alway!

I, too, Thy prisoner am I;
I, too, cry ever unto Thee
Thine own divine and tender cry:
"I thirst! Oh, let me die
Of love for Thee!"

For love of Thee I thirst! Fulfil my hope;
Augment in me Thine own celestial flame!
For love of Thee I thirst! Too scant earth's scope.
The glorious Vision of Thy Face I claim!

My long slow martyrdom of fire
Still more and more consumeth me.
Thou art my joy, my one desire.
Jesu! may I expire
Of love for Thee!

               April 30, 1806.






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