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Late Have I Loved You
A Prayer of Saint Augustine

Late have I loved you, O Beauty, so ancient and so new, late have I loved you!

And behold, you were within me and I was outside, and there I sought for you, and in my deformity I rushed headlong into the well-formed things that you have made. 

You were with me, and I was not with you. Those outer beauties held me far from you, yet if they had not been in you, they would not have existed at all.

You called, and cried out to me and broke open my deafness; you shone forth upon me and you scattered my blindness.

You breathed fragrance, and I drew in my breath and I now pant for you.

I tasted, and I hunger and thirst; you touched me, and I burned for your peace.

Saint Augustine was bishop of Hippo in North Africa. This prayer is from his book, "Confessions."

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