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Hymn to God – A poem by St. Gregory the Theologian

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Hymn to God
  St. Gregory the Theologian Nazianzen
Ω, πάντων επέκεινα, τί γαρ θέμις άλλο σε μέλπειν ;

1. O Thou, the One Supreme o’er all! 
For by what other name
May we upon Thy greatness call,
Or celebrate Thy fame?

2 Ineffable! to Thee what speech
Can hymns of honour raise?
Ineffable! what tongue can reach
The measure of Thy praise?

3. How, unapproached, shall mind of man
Descry Thy dazzling throne;
And pierce, and find Thee out, and scan,
Where Thou dost dwell alone?

4. Unuttered Thou! all uttered things
Have had their birth from Thee:
The One unknown! from Thee the springs
Of all we know and see!

5. Mindful, and mindless, all things yield
To Thy parental sway
For Thou to all art life and shield:
They honour and obey.

6. For round Thee centre all the woes
Of night and darkling day,
The common wants and common throes;
And all to Thee do pray.

7. And all things as they move along
In order fixed by Thee,
Thy watchword heed, in silent song
Hymning Thy majesty.

6. And lo! all things abide in Thee,
And through the complex whole,
Thou spread’st Thine own Divinity,
Thyself of all the goal.

9. One Being Thou, all things, yet none,
Nor one nor yet all things;
How call Thee, O mysterious One?
A worthy name who brings?

10. All-named from attributes Thine own,
How call Thee as we ought?
Thou art unlimited, alone,
Beyond the range of thought.

11. What heaven-born intellect shall rend
The veiling clouds above?
Be Thou propitious! ever send
Bright tokens of Thy love!

12. O Thou the One Supreme o’er all!
For by what other name
May we upon Thy greatness call,
Or celebrate Thy fame?

Translator: Allen W. Chatfield
Hymns and Poetry of the Eastern Church (1908), p.36-37

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