Book III

SAINT MICHAEL! by the altar stand
And mark our praises sink and swell,
The fire of heaven in Thine hand
That bare the glad ensanguine brand,
And smote the sons of hell.

Be present all the starry host
Of cherubim and seraphim,
While, hasted by the HOLY GHOST,
We raise on Time's eroded coast
Our rare and royal hymn.

Let all the ripples of our song
Exulting evermore converge
In one the virgin wave and strong,
Combine their chorus loud and long
Re-quicken and up-surge!

Hail to the Virgin! Hail! we cry.
Hail, Mary! Hail! All hail! All hail!
The utmost caverns of the sky,
The abysses of eternity,
Repeat the hail! All hail! [43]

O plumed and puissant couriers!
O Angels clothed and crowned with light!
O mild and matchless ministers
Of GOD, how deep the silence stirs
At this our choral might!

Hail to the Virgin! Hail! the streams
Are gathered in the starry river;
The incense column subtly steams
Up past the palaces of dreams:-
To Mary, Hail for ever!

Hail to the Virgin, Hail! the sea
Is one; the stars divide and pale
Before Thy single ecstasy
Of light, O moon of majesty!
Hail to Thee! Hail! All hail!

Amen. [44]

ENSHRINED in cloistral sanctity
I sit and worship solemnly.
Mary is everything to me.
I hail Thee holy Mary.

By day and night I sit alone
Mute as a monument of stone,
And meditate before the throne
Of bright and blessed Mary.

I see Her glory from afar
Gleam like some cold and sacred star
Among the solitudes that are
The shrines of blessed Mary.

Bid Thou these filmy eyes to see! Turn Thou this heart to grace and gree! Bring Thou my sense-dulled self to Thee, O bright and blessed Mary!

The song may cease, but through the air
Ever shall course the perfect prayer
Even to Thy heart, O royal, rare,
And holy Virgin Mary! [45]

In every various circumstance
Thou healest with Thy holy glance,
If but our trembling souls advance
With – Hail, O Mother Mary.

Pour forth, we pray, the dewy ease
Thou sheddest on Thy devotees,
Who greet Thee humbly on their knees
With-Hail, O holy Mary.

Thy mystic mercy as a Dove
Let overshadow us above!
Receive us to Thy House of Love
Who hail Thee holy Mary!

Amen. [46]

BE still, my soul, and let the sense
Of Her intuitive influence
Steal like the whisper of young rains
Upon thy bleak and barren plains.

By many a mental martyrdom
Our sterile souls to Mary come.
Who passeth through the surge and fire
At last shall win to his desire.

Thy grace for us sufficient still
To smite the arbiters of ill
Shall grant the exceeding great reward
To look by Thee upon the LORD.

Be still, my soul, whate'er assail!
Through Mary they shall not prevail;
And thou resigned in peace await
Her peace at Her appointed date.

Amen. [47]

THE race of day is duly run,
And men, the children of the sun,
Turn them to sleep; but I awake
For Mary's sake-for Mary's sake.
And while these eyes outwatch the stars
My soul runs through the golden bars.

O clusters that with warp and woof
Make up Fate's web, I stand aloof.
The child of Mary stands apart
Both from the terror and the dart.
No fear, no evil can engage
The knight of Mary's pilgrimage.

So in this still and solemn hour
Of vigil we proclaim Thy power.
Thy benediction, like a balm,
Unite our ardour with our calm,
And ere the black night pale to grey,
Discover Thy diviner day!

Amen. [48]

THRICE blest and four times blest is he who goes
With bleeding feet about this world of woes,
And prostrate casts lois aching diadem
Before Thy shrine, O mild and mystic Rose!
Him all the stars and all the sky begem,
For Thou art all the radiance of them.

The lean scourged body and the tortured brain
Glow with the light of Thy celestial rain.
Thou art the secret of the pure keen pleasure
Whose fountain springs from the abyss of pain.
Thee do we praise in many a merry measure
Who art of GOD most high the single treasure.

He hath ten jewels in His holy House;
All these be mystic, clear and luminous;
But only Thou art worthy of the throne,
O Mother and O daughter and O spouse
Of Him that reigns above, triune, alone,
And joins Thine equal splendour with His own!

Amen. [49]

AT the foot of the Cross is the Mother of God,
And Her tears are like rain to enliven the sod,
While the Blood of the LORD from His Body that runs
Is the heat of the summer, the fire of its suns.

In the darkness and fear of the torturing hours,
The Mother brings life in the strength of
Her showers; The Son with the fire of His Passion withdrawn
Enkindles the night to the life of the Dawn.

In the cup of the world, as pure water and wine,
His sorrow is mingled and mixed into Thine,
For a liquor to heal us the children of night,
The Immaculate Light, the Immaculate Light!

Amen. [50]

O QUEEN, deliver me from the infernal kings!
O shield me in your span, ye everlasting wings!
I kneel at Mary's shrine; the incense fumes ascend
To bring my spirit through to GOD'S appointed end.

Though in the valley of the shade of death I be,
I fear not; for Thy rod and staff they comfort me.
I imprecate the aid of Mary, Mother mild!
The asp and dragon bow before Her Holy Child.

The heathen did uprise; the folk of fear and doubt.
Great bulls of Bashan did encompass me about.
The lions roared for prey; the eagles screamed for food:
All these were stilled before thy crowned Motherhood.

Therefore, though men devise ill counsels and vain things,
Thou wilt deliver me from the infernal kings;
And when the pilgrimage of me Thy knight is done,
Thy favour shall present my spirit to Thy Son.

Amen. [51]

WHEN drought of summer parches up
Earth's beatific bowers,
O pour from Thy crystalline cup
Ambrosial showers!

We wander shelterless athirst
Throughout the wilderness,
And Thou our pilgrimage accurst
Alone canst bless.

The red sun scorches up our veins;
The white moon makes us mad;
Pitiless stars insult our pains
With clamour glad.

But Thou art shelter amid defence
From them that rage and spoil.
Assain our lives with penitence!
Our souls assoil!

Amen. [52]

NOW when the sun uplifts his rim
Above the sea, let us rejoice!
Exalt GOD'S Mother in the hymn
With an united voice!

We gladly wake to toil and praise,
Since these our purpose speed
By walking humbly in Thy ways
To worship Thee indeed.

Let all the life and love and light
Of earth and sky and sea
Soar in one flame's surpassing might
To Thee-to Thee-to Thee !

Amen. [53]

NOW at the setting of the sun
We turn our thoughts to rest and sleep.
Do Thou, O chaste and Holy One,
Our spirits keep!
O shed Thy radiance forth in streams
To keep us in the Land of Dreams!

The subtle enemy of man
Marshals his hosts to work us ill.
His demons bloat or deathly wan
Sustain his will.
More than day's arrow doth affright
The Fear that walketh in the night.

Keep Thou our dreams! Let holy words
And angel voices breathing balm
And sweetly-tuned celestial birds
Uplift their psalm!
Our meditations on Thy grace
Blend to the vision of Thy face. [54]

So shall we sleep without alarm
And wake refreshed to worship Thee,
Thy children from infernal harm
For ever free,
Until we pray Thine holy breath
To keep us in the Land of Death.

Amen. [55]

THE cool December breezes
Appease the glowing sun.
The agonies and eases
Of all the year are done: –
When eastward through the lampless night
There shone a strange and splendid light.

The noise of pomp and battle
Of Israel died away.
Amid the lowing cattle
The Holy Mother lay,
While at Her breast the Child Divine
Drank in the starry milk and wine.

Three magians Chaldean
Have bowed their royal knees
Before the Galilean,
The GOD of stars and seas,
And tasted all the fervent grace\ That shone from Mary's maiden face. [56]

That star of resurrection
Still stands above the night;
Its portent of perfection
Shall bring us all to light;
And by the peace of Mary's prayers
Our rapture stands, exceeding theirs!

Amen. [57]

AWAKE the earthly choir
To match the host of heaven,
Where the seven lamps of mystic fire
Shine, and the spirits seven!

In this religious gloom
Invoke the light divine
As, Mary, in Thy blessed womb
GOD made the Daystar shine.

This common fruit of earth
Be made the Body of grace
Even as the flesh by Jesu's birth
Was holy for a space.

All things by heavenly power
To that redemption come
Equal before Thee in the hour
Of joy or martyrdom.

Amen. [58]

BY night I waste upon my bed
For Her to whom my worship soars;
By day I bow my weary head
Within Her melancholy doors.

I shall not ever be content
With earth and all its tedious pleasure.
I look toward the great event,
To Mary's bliss, the starry treasure.

I scourge my body till the blood
Pours from this heart that hateth light,
Mix with its tide Thy crystal flood!
O Mary, cleanse Thine acolyte!

Accept this offering of pain!
Receive Thy neophyte's devotion,
Till to Thy peace he rise again,
O star of love on sorrow's ocean!

Amen. [59]


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