Sunday, December 25, 2016

On Mary, Mother of Jesus

The Sleep of the Infant Jesus
by Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato


METHINKS the Blessèd was content, her journey overpast,
     Amid the drowsy, wondering kine on lowly bed to lie:
To dream in pensive thankfulness, and happy days forecast,
     While over her the Star of Hope waxed brighter in the sky.

And yet, methinks in Bethlehem her spirit had been lone
     But for the tender new-born joy that in her arms she bore,—
Ay, even though with gifts of gold and many a precious stone
     Great kings had knelt with shepherd-folk about her stable door.

But every mortal mother's heart knows its Gethsemane—
     That lonelier spot whereto no star the light of hope may bring—
Yet even in the darkest hour, amidst her agony,
     Each still remembers Bethlehem, and hears the angels sing.
"Mother Mary" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Literary Digest (7 December 1912), The Unconquered Air (1912) and Poems (1916) Volume II.


ON that divine all-hallowed morn
When Christ in Bethlehem was born,
How lone did Mary seem to be,
The kindly beasts for company!

But when she saw her infant's face—
Fair with the soul's unfading grace,
Softly she wept for love's excess,
For painless ease and happiness.

She pressed her treasure to her heart—
A lowly mother, set apart
In the dear way that mothers are,
And heaven seemed nigh, and earth afar:

And when grave kings in sumptuous guise
Adored her babe, she knew them wise;
For at his touch her sense grew dim—
So all her being worshiped him.

A nimbus seemed to crown the head
Low-nestled in that manger-bed,
And Mary's forehead, to our sight,
Wears ever something of its light;

And still the heart—poor pensioner!
In its affliction turns to her—
Best loved of all, best understood,
The type of selfless motherhood!
"When Christ Was Born" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Scribner's Monthly Magazine (January 1902), Mine and Thine (1904) and Poems (1916) Volume I.

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