[f. 1] Ego Mater Pulchrae Delectionis, et timoris, et aquisitionis, et sancta opes.
Mother of the Fair Delight,—
An handmaid perfect in His sight
Who made thy Blessing infinite,
In generations of the earth
Have called thee Blessed from thenceforth, —
Now sitting with the Ancient Threes,
Thyself a woman - Trinity
Being the taught of a great God,
Mother of Christ, from stall to rood,
And wife unto the Holy Ghost:—
O when our need is uttermost
And the long sorrow seems to last
Then, through no Future falls to Past
In the still course thy Cycle runs,
Bethink thee of that olden one
Wherein to such as Death may strike
Thou wert a sister, sisterlike:
Yea, even thou, who reignest now
Where Angels veil their eyes and how, —
Though, scarcely to be looked upon
By saints whose footsteps tread the sun, —
Headstone of this humanity,
Grounds the great Mystery,
Fashioned like us, yet more than me.
[f. 2] Mindst thou not (when June’s heavy breath
Warmed the long days in Nazareth)
That eve thou wentest forth to give
Thy flowers some drink, that they might live.
One faint night more arising the sands?
Far off the trees were as dark wands
Against the fervid sky, where from
It seemed at length the heat must come
Bodily down in the fire: the sea,
Behind, reached on eternally,
Like an old music soothing sleep.
Then gloried thy deep eyes, and deep
Within thine heart the song wast loud:
It was to thee as though the cloud
Which shuts the inner shrine from view
Were molten, and that God burned through:
Until a folding sense, like prayer
Which is, as God is, everywhere,
Gathered about thee; and a voice
Spake to thee without any noise,
Being of the Silence: — “Hail,” it said,
“Thou that are highly favored,
The Lord is with thee, here and now,
Blessed among all women thou.”
Ah! knowst thou of the end, when first
That Babe was on thy bosom nursed?—
Or when he tottered round thy knee
 Did thy great sorrow dawn on thee?—
And through his boyhood, year by year
Eating with thee the Passover
Didst thou discern confusedly
That holier sacrament, when He,
The bitter cup about to quaff
Should break the bread and eat thereof? —
Or came not yet the knowledge, even
Till on some night forecast in Heaven,
Over thy threshold through the murk
He passed upon His Father’s work?—
Or still was God’s high secret kept?—
Nay, but I think the whisper crept
Like growth through childhood, and those [?]
Mid Angels in the Temple-courts
Awed thee with meanings unfulfilled;
And that in girlhood, something stilled
Thy senses like the birth of light,
When thou hast trimmed thy lamp at night.
Or washed thy garments in the stream;
For to thy head had come the dream
That He was thine, and thou wert His
Who feeds among the field lilies,
O solemn shadow of the end
In that wise spirit long contained!
O awful end! and those unsaid
Long years when it was finished!
Mindst thou not (when the twilight gone
Left darkness in the house of John)
Between the naked window bars
f. That spacious vigil of the stars?—
For thou, a watcher even as they,
Wouldst rise from where throughout the day
Thou wroughtest raiment for his poor;
And finding the [?] terms endure
Of day and night which never brought
Sounds of his coming chariot,
Wouldst lift through cloud waste unexplored
Those eyes which said, “How long, O Lord?”
Then that disciple whom he loved,
Well heeding haply would he moved
To ask thy blessing in His name;
And thy thought and his thought the same
Though silent, then would clasp ye round
To weep together, — tears long bound
Soft tears of patience, dumb and slow.
Yet, “Surely, I come quickly,” — so
He said, from life and death gone home,
Amen: even so, Lord Jesus, come!
But oh! what human tongue can speak
That day when Michael came to break
From the tired spirit, like a veil
Its covenant with Gabriel,
Endured at length until the end?
What human thought can apprehend
That mystery of motherhood
When thy Beloved at length renewed
The sweet communion severed, —
His left hand underneath thine head
 And His right hand embracing thee?==
For henceforth thine abode must he
Beyond all mortal pains and plaints,
The full assembly of the Saints.
In Faith perchance, or Love, or Hope,
Now let me see thee standing up
Where the light of the Throne is bright?
Unto the left, unto the right,
The cherubim ordered and joined,
Float inward to a golden point,
And from between the seraphim
The glory cometh like a hymn.
All is aquiet, nothing stirs,
The peace of [?][?] [years?]
Is within thee and without thee;
And the Godshine falls about thee.
O if that look can stoop so far,
It shall reach down from star to star
And try to see us where we are;
For this our grief came swift as death,
But the slow comfort loitereth.
Sometimes it even seems to us
That we are overbold, when thus
We cry, and hope we shall be heard;—
Being [sure of?] less than a short word,—
Mere shadow that abideth not,—
 A dusty nothing, soon, forgot.
Yet Lady Mary, be not loth
To listen, thou whole the starry clothe!
Bend thine ear, and pour back thine hair,
And let our voice come to thee there
Where, seeing, thou mayst not be seen,
Help us a little, Mary Queen!
Into the shadow lean thy face,
Bowing thee from the secret place,
Saint Mary Virgin, full of grace!