Book IV

THE Virgin lies at Bethlehem
(Bring gold and frankincense and myrrh!)
The root of David shoots a stem.
(O HOLY SPIRIT, shadow Her!)

She lies alone amid the kine.
(Bring gold and frankincense and myrrh !)
The straw is fragrant as with wine.
(O HOLY SPIRIT, shadow her!)

There are three Kings upon the road.
(Bring gold and frankincense and myrrh!)
She hath thrice blest the Name of GOD.
(O HOLY SPIRIT, shadow her!)

There stands her star above the sky.
(Bring gold and frankincense and myrrh!)
She bath thrice blest the TRINITY.
(O HOLY SPIRIT, shadow her!)

Her joyful ardour hath sufficed.
(Bring gold and frankincense and myrrh!)
She is delivered of the CHRIST.
(The angels come to worship Her!)

Amen. [63]

THE suns of Terra pale;
The mists of Terra flee;
To lift Thy veil we take Thy veil,
And give our lives to Thee.

Our hopes are sacrificed
At Thy pellucid shrine.
We worship CHRIST; to wed with CHRIST
We take Thy vows divine.

O Thou supremely pure,
Cleanse Thou this feeble clay!
Thy grace endure that we endure
To that mirific day!

Our virgin brows and pale
The holy Crown shall gird.
Who took Thy veil shall lift Thy veil
And hear the final Word. [64]

O hear us, Mary blest!
Thy heavenly love accord,
That we may rest on JESU'S breast,
Thy Son, our living LORD!

Amen. [65]

I

IN great cathedral cities,
In cloisters old and dim,
Wherever worth or wit is,
We raise the choral hymn.
To GOD'S eternal Mother
We lift our hearts of flame;
We join with one another
To bless Her holy name.

II

O hear us, blessed Mary!
Thy graces send as dew,
As kisses fond and faery
Our spirits to renew!
O bid our sinful nation,
The broken from the rod,
By Thine initiation
Soar subtly up to GOD! [66]

III

Bewitched by sins and errors,
By heresies defiled;
Avert the avenging terrors
Of Thine insulted Child!
Schismatic from His Vicar,
Despoilers of His flock:
O Strike the saving liquor
From out the barren rock!

IV

Acknowledge our contrition!
Accept our sighs and tears!
Let English inanition
Be lost in happier years!
On this stagnated water
Evoke Thy glowing tide!
Our Church Thy worthy daughter,
And His accepted Bride!

Amen. [67]

IN the choir's delicious dim
Fragrance let us lift the hymn
Fiery as the Seraphim-
Ave, blessed Mary!

Send the sweet and solemn strain
Through the far enchanted fane,
Till the skies ring back again
Ave, blessed Mary!

Purest lips of grace and youth
Invocate Thy royal ruth,
Conjure by the Word of Truth-
Ave, blessed Mary!

Maiden bodies vowed to
Thee, Souls of stainless chastity,
Cry Thy worship ardently-
Ave, blessed Mary! [68]

As from heaven the lightnings hurled
I Let our song be lashed and curled
Round the shoulders of the world!
Ave, blessed Mary!

Let the joys thereof assuage
Heathen horrors in their rage
Grisly war on Thee that wage-
Ave, blessed Mary!

Let Thy foes be brought to shame.
Turn their hearts to holy flame
To the glory of Thy name-
Ave, blessed Mary!

Crown our arms with water crossed!
Bring to perfect Pentecost
All the legions of the lost!
Ave, blessed Mary!

Amen. [69]

THOU whose mystic Motherhood was s fain
To journey with us through the Land of Pain,
Let not delight quench that which sorrow fanned.
O journey with us through the Pleasant Land!

Arise, O soul! be thy devotion's dower
Keener and gladder every glad keen hour!
The rays of praise outglitter and outrun
The candid brilliance of the choral sun.

Hear us, O Mary, blessed Queen of GOD!
Bless Thou the wreath as Thou hast blessed the rod!
Endow us from Thy star-embattled coast
With the perfections of the HOLY GHOST!

Amen. [70]

WITH the Cross on my sword as its sigil
With the foes of Thy Church I would grapple,
All night by my arms I keep vigil
In the lonely and luminous chapel.

From the solemn monitions of even I brood;
Thou dost shine from above.
The veil of Thy mystical heaven
Is melted in glory and love.

O Thou, of Thy mercy apply
Thy grace to my spurs and my sword,
That my banner may flame to the sky
In the van of the hosts of the LORD!

Amen. [71]

O THOU whose Son hath mastered the dread King,
The curse of Eve, the serpent of desire!
Aid Thou thy servant in her travailing!
Ease Thou the dolour dire!

O Thou whose life brought Light into the Light,
Be with us now to comfort and console
That this Thy servant, through Thy maiden might,
Achieve the goodly goal!

Or, if Thy pleasure be to take from earth
Thy servant to Thy holy house above,
That Thou mayst hold her, safe in happier birth,
In Thine especial love:–

Or, if Thy pleasure be to take the child
To join Thy choir of innocents in Heaven,
We do assure Thee, Virgin undefiled,
The gift is freely given. [72]

But if Thou wilt let both live merrily,
Two sparks of light in this our glamour dim!
Still let Thy servant grow more like to Thee,
The child more like to Him.

Amen. [73]

PRAISE unto Mary, Queen of Heaven's array,
Whose word shall save us on the Judgement Day!
We serve Thee gracious, Thee compassionate-
O keep us in the Way serene and strait!

O keep us in the Way of those who bless
Thy favour filling out their feebleness,
And keep us ever from the fatal way
Of those unhappy ones who go astray!

Amen. [74]

OFT when our prayers and praises fail
On wings unfledged to reach the Throne,
Thou takest them beneath the veil
And makest them Thine own.

Of all our callow vows and cold,
Born hardly to much bitterness,
Thy mercy takes effectual hold
And granteth them success.

Not by our passion or our will
The eager suppliant is heard,
But by the white ecstatic thrill
Of Thy serener word.

Accept our prayer, accept our praise,
O Thou all praise and prayer above!
O fix our weak and wavering will
On Thee, the Queen of Love!

Amen. [75]

O QUEEN of Wisdom, Queen of Thought,
Bring us to Thine holy court!
Us, who wander in the maze
Of the world's deceitful ways,
Bring to Thine assured assent
By Thy mystic sacrament

Queen of Mercy, Queen of Might,
Bring us to Thine ardent light!
We are weak and violent:
By Thy mystic sacrament
Bring us to Thy power and peace,
To the passionless release!

Queen of Splendour, Queen of Love,
Bring us to Thine House above,
Where in love and splendour dwell
All the saints that praise Thee well.
Bring us to their great content
By Thy mystic sacrament!

Amen. [76]

I

BEHOLD the creatures Thou hast made,
O LORD, how frail we are and fickle,
Ephemeral as the tender blade
That falls before the eternal sickle!

CHORUS:

No shadow of turning in the LORD!
His purpose shall not change nor vary,
Splendid and stedfast as a sword
Live in the lambent heart of Mary.

II

Behold us, how we strive to good
And evil catches us and sways us,
How from child-life and maidenhood
Time creeps and springs on us and slays us!

III

But all our feebleness in Thee
Is firm, in Thee our ways are steady.
Equal for bliss or agony
Thou callest us-and we are ready. [77]

IV

By Mary's tenderness and truth
Make good our variable endeavour
To live in endless peace and youth
With Thee for ever and for ever!

Amen. [78]

O MOTHER of Our LORD, we ask
Thy potent prayer in our distress;
We nerve us for the royal task
And sink supine in feebleness.

The Eye of Heaven to us is blind;
Time is so sad, and earth so grey;
But by Thine influence we find
One steadfast star to shew the way.

Thine is the sympathetic balm
That eases from Life's bruising rod;
And Thine the meek eternal calm
That brings our souls in tune with Go

Amen. [79]

VEIL not Thy splendour in the shrine
O Mary, let its glamour grow!
Our cold hearts waiting Thee to shine
Like sunrise on the utmost snow.

Thy favour melt our life in tears,
Till, gathering force, our love be hurled
An avalanche upon the years,
A tempest on the barren world!

As all the clouds of India break
In one wild gust upon the sand,
And in one week of wonder wake
The whole green gladness of the land,

So be Thy mercy on us poured,
Thy beauty fill our aching brains!
Although it smite us as a sword
And fill us with immortal pains;

Yet in its life our souls revive;
By virtue of Thee we endure.
The end of endings must arrive,
Madonna!-and the end is sure.

Amen. [80]


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