And she has trod before me in these ways!
I think that she has left here heavenlier days;
And do I guess her passage, as the skies
of Holy Paradise
Turn deeply holier,
And, looking up with sudden new delight,
One knows a seraph-wing has passed in flight.
The air is purer for her breathing, sure!
And all the fields do wear
The beauty fallen from her;
The winds do brush me with her robe's allure,
'Tis she has taught the heavens to look sweet,
And they do but repeat
The heaven, heaven, heaven of her face!
The clouds have studies going from her grace!
The pools whose marges had forgot the tread
Of Naiad, disenchanted, fled,
A second time must mourn,
Bereaved and forlorn.
Ah, foolish ponds and meads! You did not see
Essence of old, essential pure as she.
For this is that Lady, and none other,
The man in me calls "Love," the child calls "Mother".
Oh, most sacred Virgin Mary, Queen of Angels, how beautiful, accomplished and perfect has Heaven made you! O that I could appear to God as you appear to me. You are so beautiful and gracious that with your beauty you ravish hearts...
When your devoted servant, St. John Damascene, contemplated you, and saw your beauty, it seemed to him that you had taken that which was best in every creature, and therefore he called you "the loveliness of nature," The grace and comeliness of every creature...
O sovereign Princess, from the immense ocean of your beauty the beauty and grace of all creatures flowed forth as rivers. The sea learned to curl its waves, and to wave its crystal waters from the golden hair, which gracefully flowed over your shoulders and neck. The crystal fountains and their transparent depths learned their tranquil and steady flow from the serenity of your beautiful brow and placid countenance. The lovely rainbow, when in full beauty, learnt with studious care its graceful bend from your eyebrows, thus better to send forth its rays of light.
The morning star itself, and the sweet star at night, are sparks from your beautiful eyes. The roses stole their color from your lovely cheeks. Envious purple and coral sigh for the color of your lips. The most delicious milk and sweetest honey are distillations from the sweet honeycomb of your mouth.
The scented jasmine and fragrant damask rose stole their perfume from your breath. The loftiest cedar and the most fair, erect cypress, were happy when they beheld their image in your erect and lofty neck. The palm tree, emulous and jealous, likened itself to your noble stature. In fine, O Lady, every created beauty is a shadow and trace of your beauty.
Soul of Mary, sanctify me.
Heart of Mary, inflame me.
Hands of Mary, support me.
Feet of Mary, direct me.
Immaculate eyes of Mary, look upon me.
Lips of Mary, speak for me.
Sorrows of Mary, strengthen me.
O Mary, hear me
In the wound of the Heart of Jesus, hide me.
Let me never be separated from thee.
From my enemy defend me.
At the hour of death, call me.
And bid me come to thine Immaculate Heart
That thus I may come to the Heart of Jesus
And there with the saints praise you
For all eternity. Amen
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