Inspiration for the Light of the World

From a Spanish sonnet and the Book of Revelation

According to the Rev. Richard Glover (1862), the idea of painting the picture was suggested to Mr Hunt by a sonnet entitled “Tomorrow” by Lope de Vega (Spanish). The translation below is by H. W. Longfellow:

Lord, what am I, that, with unceasing care,
Thou did’st seek after me, – that thou did’st wait,
Wet with unhealthy dews, before my gate,
And pass the gloomy nights of winter there.
O strange delusion! that I did not greet
Thy blest approach, and 0, to heaven how lost,
If my ingratitude’s unkindly frost
Has chilled the bleeding wounds upon Thy feet.
How oft my guardian angel gently cried,
“Soul, from thy casement look, and thou shalt see
How He persists to knock and wait for thee!”
And O! how often to that voice of sorrow,
“To-morrow we will open” – I replied,
And when the morrow came, I answered still

The quotation from the Book of Revelation, iii, 20 …

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: and if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and sup with him, and he with me.”

>>> The Light of the World by William Holman Hunt

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