Barren beads in fumbling fingers of fools, fallen, absurd,
in crazed haze of word after empty word:
pitiful piety brings no aid,
naught but far-fetched fancies made
to deceive naïve nuns, whose prayers, never heard,
would be better, too, never prayed.
Can it be? Surely Truth tricks not, nor can disdain
pleas of hearts heavy, weak with pain
and sorrow—for well He knows
it, bore it, and for my sake chose.
Her heart, too, racked, rent with His, yet by the Cross remains—
ever full of grace, now on her children to flow.
O Mary, Mary, maiden yet Mother, most blessèd!
Faithful Virgin, and fruitful! when thy Fiat confessèd:
to thee, in haste, I fly,
under thy mantle to hide, to lie:
as Jesus—newborn babe, then mangled man—on thy breast rested,
dear Mother, so may I!
And how happy, having striven, failed, re-striven,
strength strainèd, sin-stainèd, am I, who live in
grace (and not the Law to bear),
in Habit, and on cincture wear
that cord, of Mystic Rose to Rose of Patience given,
that ever-efficacious prayer!
She, Queen of angels, heaven, and Preachers proclaimed,
New Eve, inviolate, of all women most famed,
Mater omnium, digna prædicari,
et Regina sacratissimi rosarii,
Life, Sweetness, Hope, is named:
Gratiam tuam, Mater mea, gaudeo contemplari!
O Mary, be a Mother to me now, protect and pray
for your poor child, exiled, to see dawn of eternal day:
thy sweet succor swiftly bring,
that I, life and light diminishing,
be found faithful—and then, lasting Life living, I may
the praises of thy Son with thee ever sing.
Image: Window in Carlow Cathedral, St. Dominic Receives the Rosary from the Virgin Mary