Gabriel from the Heaven descending,
On the faithful Word attending,
Is in holy converse blending
With the Virgin full of grace:
That good word and sweet he plighteth
In the bosom where it lighteth,
And for Eva Ave writeth,
Changing Eva s name and race.
At the promise that he sendeth
God the Incarnate Word descendeth;
Yet no carnal touch offendeth
Her the undefiled one,
She without a father, beareth,
She no bridal union shareth
And a painless birth declareth
That she bore the Royal Son.
Tale that wondering search entices!
But believe – and that suffices;
It is not for man’s devices
Here to pry with gaze unmeet:
High the sign, its place assuming
In the bush the unconsuming,
Mortal, veil thine eyes presuming,
Loose thy shoes from off thy feet.
Bless’d is the womb that bore Him – bless’d
The bosom where His lips were press’d,
But rather bless’d are they
Who hear His word and keep it well,
The living homes where Christ shall dwell,
And never pass away.
- Adam of Saint Victor
This is that blessed Mary, pre-elect
God s Virgin. Gone is a great while, and she
Dwelt young in Nazareth of Galilee.
Unto God s will she brought devout respect,
Profound simplicity of intellect,
And supreme patience. From her mother s knee
Faithful and hopeful; wise in charity;
Strong in grave peace; in pity circumspect.
So held she through her girlhood; as it were
An angel-watered lily, that near God
Grows and is quiet. Till, one dawn at home,
She woke in her white bed, and had no fear
At all – yet wept till sunshine and felt awed:
Because the fulness of the time was come.
Times are the symbols, on that cloth of red
I’ the centre is the Tripoint: perfect each,
Except the second of its points to teach
That Christ is not yet born. The book whose head
Is golden Charity as Paul hath said -
Those virtues are wherein the soul is rich,
Therefore on them the Lily standeth, which
Is innocence, being interpreted.
The seven-thorn d briar and the palm – seven-leaved
Are her great sorrow and her great reward.
Until the end be full, the Holy One
Abides without. She soon shall have achieved
Her perfect purity: yea God the Lord
Shall soon vouchsafe His Son to be her Son.
- Dante G. Rossetti