Thou art her only
Whose arm supports her, on Whose faithful breast
Her persecuted head she meekly bows,
Sure pledge of her eternal rest.
Thou, her unerring
Stayest her fainting steps along the wild;
Thy merit is on the bowers of lust and pride,
That she may pass them undefiled.
Who then, uncalled
Dare touch Thy spouse, Thy very self below?
Or who dare count him summoned worthily,
Except Thine hand and seal he show?
Where can Thy
seal be found,
But on thou chosen seed, from age to age
By thine anointed heralds duly crowned,
As kings and priests Thy war to wage?
walk we forth,
Yet full of trembling, Messengers of God:
Our warrant sure, but doubting of our worth,
By our own shame alike and glory awed.
of the hearts,
Thou who didst seal by Thy descending Dove
Thy servant’s choice, O help us in our parts,
Else helpless found, to learn and teach Thy love.
And the Angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. St. Luke i. 28.
Oh! Thou who deign’st to sympathise
With all our frail and fleshly ties,
Maker yet Brother dear,
Forgive the too presumptuous thought,
If, calming wayward grief, I sought
To gaze on Thee too near.
Yet sure ’twas not presumption, Lord,
’Twas Thine own comfortable word
That made the lesson known:
Of all the dearest bonds we prove,
Thou countest sons and mothers’ love
Most sacred, most Thine own.
When wandering here a little span,
Thou took’st on Thee to rescue man,
Thou had’st no earthly sire:
That wedded love we prize so dear,
As if our heaven and home were here,
It lit in Thee no fire.
On no sweet sister’s faithful breast
Wouldst Thou Thine aching forehead rest,
On no kind brother lean:
But who, O perfect filial heart,
E’er did like Thee a true son’s part,
Endearing, firm, serene?
Thou wept’st, meek maiden, mother mild,
Thou wept’st upon thy sinless Child,
Thy very heart was riven:
And yet, what mourning matron here
Would deem thy sorrows bought too dear
By all on this side Heaven?
A Son that never did amiss,
That never shamed His Mother’s kiss,
Nor crossed her fondest prayer:
E’en from the tree He deigned to bow,
For her His agonised brow,
Her, His sole earthly care.
Ave Maria! blessed Maid!
Lily of Eden’s fragrant shade,
Who can express the love
That nurtured thee so pure and sweet,
Making thy heart a shelter meet
For Jesus’ holy dove?