Last updated on April 26, 2011

English translations of the anonymous Spanish poem Soneto a Cristo crucificado, “No me mueve mi Dios, para quererte”. Several versions are included here, by: Thomas Walsh, Art Eschenlauer, Stacy Shoop, Hugh Seay and José Leo.

To Christ Crucified

I am not moved to love Thee, 0 my Lord,
    By any longing for Thy Promised Land;
    Nor by the fear of hell am I unmanned
To cease from my transgressing deed or word.
Tis Thou Thyself dost move me,—Thy blood poured
    Upon the cross from nailed foot and hand;
    And all the wounds that did Thy body brand;
And all Thy shame and bitter death's award.

Yea, to Thy heart am I so deeply stirred
    That I would love Thee were no heaven on high,—
That I would fear, were hell a tale absurd!
Such my desire, all questioning grows vain;
    Though hope deny me hope I still should sigh,
And as ray love is now, it should remain.

                —Thomas Walsh (translator)

From: Hispanic Anthology: Poems Translated from the Spanish by English and North American Poets, collected and arranged by Thomas Walsh. G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1920.

To Christ Crucified

My God, it does not move me to befriend Thee
that Thou hast promised heavenly salvation,
and terror of eternal condemnation
is not what moves my ceasing to offend Thee.

To see Thee moves me, Lord, as nails suspend Thee
upon the Cross, in great humiliation;
Thy wounded body shows Thy tribulation
as we to cruel disgrace and death do send Thee!

Thy love so moves me naught to prize above Thee
that were there not a Hell I yet would fear Thee
and were there not a Heaven I would love Thee.

Thou needst not give me more to have me love Thee,
for, had I not such hope of being near Thee,
I yet would love Thee just as now I love Thee.

                —Translation by Art Eschenlauer, Easter 1996
               (reproduced here with permission)

To Christ Crucified

Heaven that you have promised me, my God,
Does not move me to love you.
Nor does hell so dreadful move me
To leave all that offends you.

You move me, Lord. It moves me to see you
Mocked, nailed to that cross.
It moves me to see your body so wounded.
Your dishonour moves me, and your death.

You move me to your love in such a way
That even if there were no heaven I would love you;
And even if there were no hell I would fear you.

You do not have to give to gain my love;
For even if what I hope for becomes hopeless
In the same way I love you, I would love you still.

               —Translated by Stacy Shoop, 1996
               (reproduced here with permission)

Sonnet to Christ Crucified

I am not moved to love you, Lord,
By promises of paradise;
Nor does the hell that terrifies
Move me to want to sin no more.

You are the one that moves me, Lord,
When to your cross I turn my eyes
To see your wounds, hear insults, lies;
I'm grieved to know you're dying, Lord.

Your love moves me in such a way
That without heav'n I'd love you still,
And without hell, I'd fear to stray.

I need no goads or giveaway;
For even if my hopes were nil,
I'd love you as I do today.

Hymn to Christ Crucified*

I am not moved to love you, God,
By hope for heav'n's reward;
Nor am I moved by fear of hell
To turn from sin, my Lord.
What moves me, God, is seeing you,
Despised and nailed up high
Upon that cross with gaping wounds,
Rejected, left to die.
Your love so moves me, Lord, that if
There were no heav'n or hell,
I still would fear your holy name
And truly love you well.
And so I need no promises
To sway my love for you;
For even if I had no hope,
I'd love you as I do.

               —Translated by Hugh Seay, Lent, 1978
               (reproduced here with permission)

     * Note added by the translator: In 1978 this hymn was offered as a possible substitute for Edward Caswall's 1849 translation (altered 1931) of an anonymous Latin adaptation of the original Spanish. Caswall's altered version apears in the 1940 Hymnal of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S.A. as No. 456, with a ST. FULBERT tune and with ST. BERNARD, No. 413 listed as an alternative tune.
     Caswall is quite faithful to the Latin adaptation, but the Latin not only departs from the simplicity of the original Spanish, but substitutes an emphasis on the Atonemnent for the pure, disinterested love of God arising from compassion for the suffering Christ.
     Neither Caswell's nor any other version of the sonnet appears in the 1982 revised edition of the Hymnal currently in use.

Soneto a Jesus Crucificado / Sonnet to Jesus Crucified

I am not moved, my God, to love You
by the heaven that You have promised me
and I am not moved either by hell so feared
as the reason to stop offending You.

You move me, my Lord, it moves me to see You
nailed to a cross and your flesh destroyed,
what moves me is to see your body so injured,
what moves me is your suffering and your death.

What moves me, finally, is your love, and in such way,
that even if there was no heaven, I would love You,
and even if there was no hell, I would fear You.

You don't have to give me for me to love You,
so even if what I hope for I did not hope,
the same that I love You, I would love You.

               —Translated by José Leo O S
               (reproduced here with permission)

Volver a Antología de poesía española home page.
Texto electrónico por Fred F. Jehle