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Archive for January 19th, 2007

The_girlhood_of_mary_virgin
The Girlhood of Mary Virgin

Dante Gabriel Rossetti(1828-1882)

I.

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.


II.

These are the symbols. On that cloth of red
    
I’ the centre is the Tripoint: perfect each,
    
Except the centre of its points,to teach
That Christ is not yet born. The books –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 brier and palm seven-leaved
    
Are here 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.

Poem:Rossetti, Dante Gabriel. The Poetical Works. 2vols. [Ed. William Michael Rossetti.] Boston: Little, Brown, 1913. I, 281-82. American printing of British edition published by Roberts Brothers, 1887.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)

1848-49

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