November Poetry

There are four aspects that distinguish this collection of poetry for November.  First, November is a month in which we remember our departed brothers and sisters.  We present here several poems for Our Lady of Purgatory and Our Lady of Mercy.  Second, November 21 is the memorial of Mary's Presentation in the Temple by her parents.  We present a poem that commemorates that event in Our Lady's life.  Third, November is, in the United States, a time to give thanks to God.  We present several poems in honor of Our Lady of the Eucharist, as well as two general religious verses in celebration of Thanksgiving.  Fourth, November is an appropriate time to introduce some creative poems that honor Our Lady in a modern, but creative manner.

Index of November Poetry



November Eleventh

To stone memorials of a bitter loss
In many countries, men and women bring
Their flower clusters and their laurel wreaths;
They linger there a while, remembering.
From Mary's litany I draw a rose,
One golden phrase of blossoming surcease,
To add to all the heaped up tribute there:
"Pray for us, Mary, Queen of Peace!"

Over the world the screaming tongues of hate
Silence the love and leave us grief and pain;
And stupid wealth and cold unseeing greed
Look upon human suffering with disdain.
From Nazareth she saw Him go to meet
Hatred and pain ending in death's release -
In name of all our sons growing to men,
Pray for us, Mary, Queen of Peace!

They seize the bells that hymn the Lord of Life;
They break the gently rounded bronze apart
That sings a human praise for Love divine,
And make it into bullets for His heart.
Pray the fulfillment of your Son's high will,
That in our world the sin of hate shall cease,
And women's sons be brothers and not foes, -
Pray for us, Mary, Queen of Peace!

Katherine Burton
Robert, Cyril. Our Lady's Praise in Poetry.
Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1944.

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November Memories

Every heart has a nook for sorrow,
A lingering reminder of death, reaching out for one we
loved
Despite our tears and our prayers.
Every heart cherishes some beloved form frozen in icy
sleep,
Lips half open for an invocation, smothered in a last
gasp....
They left us, one by one, before we realized it,
Or perhaps after a long sojourn with suffering,
Off at last on the journey that knows no return.
That route paved with gold or with mire,
As you rise to the light or descend toward the fire,
into darkness.
For the word half-uttered by mute lips was your sweet
name:
Mary! Mother! Virgin so good!

The adieus are all over now, and your image has
disappeared
Behind the diaphanous veil of our tears.
They did not leave alone; their Mother was with them.
With less grief then we follow their flight.
We seem less distant; Mary is our ever faithful
Messenger;
Death loses the horror of its name.
Russet leaves cover the fields and lanes;
Their macabre dance to the wail of November winds,
Burdens the soul sadness; sad, too, the bell that
tolls each evening,
The only voice left to those who have departed...
And that of the eternal canticles, or perhaps the weak
voice of expiation.
Kneeling in the silence of the sleeping household
We await your visit for news of them, repeating their
last words:
Mary! Mother! Good Virgin!
In the midst of our tears their familiar figure smiles,
Enchanted, transfigured... The imprint of your
virginal features.

Jeanne L'Archeveque-Duguay
Robert, Cyril. Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine.
Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1946.

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Our Lady of the Eucharist

Dear Lady of the Sacred Host,
In hearts enshrined, beloved most,
Pure temple of the Holy Ghost,
Maria!

Of purity, the crystal shrine,
Thou Mother of our God Divine,
But, too, sweet Mother, thou art mine,
Maria!

Fair Lady of the Eucharist,
Enshrining Love as in a mist,
Unto thy client fondly list,
Maria!

Receive me, Mother as thy child,
And make me humble, meek, and mild,
Preserve me chaste and undefiled.
Maria!

With meek and contrite love adorn
This stony heart of mine; each morn
May I receive thy Son new-born,
Maria!

Sr. M. Frederica, O.S.B.
Robert, Cyril. Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine.
Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1946.

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The Queen of Purgatory

O turn to Jesus, Mother! Turn,
And call Him by His tenderest names;
Pray for the Holy Souls that burn
This hour amid the cleansing flames.

Ah! They have fought a gallant fight:
In death's cold arms they persevered;
And, after life's uncheery night,
The harbour of their rest is neared.

In pains beyond all earthly pains,
Favourites of Jesus! There they lie
Letting the fire wear out their stains
And worshipping God's purity.

Spouses of Christ they are, for He
Was wedded to them by His Blood;
And angels o'er their destiny
In wondering adoration brood.

They are the children of thy tears;
Then hasten, Mother! To their aid;
In pity think each hour appears
An age while glory is delayed.

See, how they bound amid their fires,
While pain and love their spirits fill;
Then with self-crucified desires
Utter sweet rumors, and lie still.

Ah me! The love of Jesus yearns
O'er that abyss of sacred pain,
And, as He looks, His bosom burns
With Calvary's dear thirst again.

O Mary, let thy Son no more
His lingering Spouses thus expect;
God's children to their God restore,
And to the Spirit His elect.

Pray then, as thou hast ever prayed;
Angels and Souls, all look to thee;
God waits thy prayers, for He hath made
Those prayers His law of charity.

Fr. Faber.
Robert, Cyril. Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine.
Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1946.

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Our Lady of Mercy

Mother of Mercy! Virgin Mary blest
Within whose chaste, young bosom hearts find peace
And finding, know the real content of Rest;
The utter fullness that need never cease
Once one has known the safety of this breast;
Once and then many times when one has erred
And seeks amongst men a pity in the face;
An understanding in the stead of squared
Contempt blunt-meted out from every place.

To whom, then, can we turn and quickly go
Assured of mercy and the mother-strength
To lift us up! To whom, then, can we show
The contrite heart; the firm resolve at length
To keep our equilibrium of soul?
.... oh, foolish question uttered by all men
While Mary's heart-pulse throbs to be their goal
And bleeds its mercy ever and again!

Peg Du Bal
Robert, Cyril. Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine.
Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1946.

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Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament

Unique
In all creation stands
Thy Virgin-Motherhood,
Bright substance
Out of which was wrought
Each pristine vessel
For Emmanuel:

Blest Chalice
of the Word's most precious Blood;

Pure Paten
of His Body's first repose;

Ciborium
of His infant dwelling;

Fair Pyx
of His first journeying;

Monstrance
of His earliest benedictions;

O Mary,

Tabernacle
of the Incarnate One,

Shelter thou ours souls
that they may dwell with God.

Mary Virginia Place
Robert, Cyril. Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine.
Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1946.

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Our Lady - Skyscraper in the Night

Our Lady like a hundred-story building
standing all alone alight, amid a deep dark night,
rises, terraced strong on steel, and towers tall
high-shaped and sheer to stop the pilgrim and enthrall,
with each ascending floor a pyramiding row
of golden-squares - taller yet than all - of light.
Down by her feet fair fountains mirror-play their waters
in her polished stone, while at her utmost height
great spotlights print her crown in a dazzling white.

A skyscraper Mary is, and wears her hundred-stories tall
like one long mist-like golden gown of light;
A Queen She is, glorious-tall, majestic in the night.

Albert Joseph Hebert, S.M.
Mary, Our Blessed Lady. New York: Exposition Press, 1970.

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Our Lady Compared to a Space Ship

Some day my plane shall come,
A ship of silver larging in a morning sky:
Beautiful and swift she shall come
A streak of splendor for our mortal eye.

No wind or want shall jar her smooth descent
As she shall point down from the blue,
No motor roar, jet's sudden thunder mar
Serene arrival or adieu.

But she shall come in gloriousness
Of other-worldly form, celestial grace,
Her wings still whispering silver music heard
In some far Seraphimic place.

Alighting shall be feathery,
As softly as God's mercy settles down;
And she shall taxi-in with majesty
Of realms where suns and stars are ground.

No mark shall soil her comeliness,
Sheer loveliness shall live in all her lines;
She shall wear her silver splendor regally,
Like a wide sea sheathed in moonlight shines.

With queenliest, gentlest courtesy
She shall take on her passenger, just one -
for it is only individually
Each exile here on Earth is done.

Then she shall close that blessed door,
And buoyant sweep into the Morning Sky.
And that is how, I pray, O Lord,
You'll send Our Lady for me when I die.

Some day my plane shall come,
A ship of silver larging in a morning sky:
And she shall fly away, a Beauteous Queen
Men know not yet with mortal eye.

Albert Joseph Hebert
Mary, Our Blessed Lady. New York: Exposition Press, 1970.

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Mary on Her Way to the Temple

Scarce lay the blossoms of her golden hair
Warm as a leveret in her mother's hand
When on the wall her shadow gliding there
Haunted her young years with its stern demand.
She coveted no worldly vanity
As the tall steps she climbed with girlish grace,
Approaching unperturbed the galaxy
Of aged priests who kept the holy place.

She looked not back. There on the stone floor lay
The apple that her father gave as token
Of tenderness for all her tenderness.
She entered joyfully that blessed day
The templed walls, herself a shrine unbroken,
To wait till time shall reach its fruitfulness.

Ruth Schaumann
Edwin Buers, translator.
Sr. M. Therese. I Sing of a Maiden. New York: Macmillan Company, 1947.

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Mother of Mercy

I walked in darkness, yet felt no fear;
For through the void I knew her near.
She bound my wounds that lightless day
And cooled my fever midst battle's fray.
Not only I have seen her there,
But many others through painful tear
Have felt her tender, soothing, healing hand,
Looked long and clearly into eyes that understand
The pain and anguish of death to come,
For man did this to her only Son.

F.W. Heinkle
Robert, Cyril. Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine.
Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1946.

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Thanksgiving

For all true words that have been spoken,
For all brave deeds that have been done,
For every loaf in kindness broken,
For every race in valor run,
For martyr lips which have not failed
To give God praise and smile to rest,
For knightly souls which have not quailed
At stubborn strife or lonesome quest;
Lord unto whom we stand in thrall
We give Thee thanks for all, for all.

For each fair field where golden stubble
Hath followed wealth of waving grain;
For every passing wind of trouble
Which bends Thy grass that lifts again;
For gold in mine that men must seek,
For work which bows the sullen knee;
For strength, swift sent to aid the weak,
For love by which we climb to Thee;
Thy freemen, Lord, yet each Thy thrall,
We give Thee praise for all, for all.

Margaret Sangster
Kauffman, Donald T. The Treasury of Religious Verse.
New York: Revell, 1966.

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Thanksgiving Day Grace

Our Father, fill our hearts, we pray,
With gratitude Thanksgiving Day;
For food and raiment Thou dost give,
That we in comfort here may live.

With bread of life our spirits feed
And grant to us the grace we need,
Guide Thou our feet lest they should stray
From paths of righteousness away.

True service may we render Thee
In love and deep humility;
Deliver us from every sin,
In His dear name we ask. Amen.

Luther B. Cross
Armstrong, Helen. Prayer Poems. Freeport, New York:
Books for Libraries Press, 1942.

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Family Portrait

Our Lady is my fear,
Not my peace, -
Whose Father guards His dear
From release.

Our Lady is my queen,
Not my mother;
I gave her at fourteen
To an Other.

I gave her as a spouse
To a Third
Who made her womb a house
For a Word.

Our Lady is a star,
Is a well,
Too deep for me, too far,
Too terrible.

But she dashes down the air
When I lock with Lucifer
And she hauls me by the hair
Out of Hell !

Leonard Feeney
Sr. M. Therese. I Sing of a Maiden.
New York: Macmillan, 1947.

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After Holy Communion

Mother, upon my lips today
Your Son's dear Blood was laid,
This Blood which centuries ago
Was for my ransom paid;
And half in love and half in fear
I ask for aid from thee,
Lest what I worship, rapt in awe,
Should be profaned by me.

Do you vouchsafe as portress dear
To guard these lips today,
Lessen my words of idle mirth,
And govern all I say;
Keep back the sharp and quick retorts
That rise so easily,
Soften my speech with gentle art
To sweetest charity.

George S. Brady.
Mary in Song and in Prayer.
Virginia: George S. Brady, 1972.

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Mary, Shield Us from Danger

Mary, dearest Mother,
From thy heav'nly height
Look on us thy children,
Lost in earth's dark night.

Oh we pray thee, lov'd Mary, Mary,
Fondly we entreat,
Guide us to our sweet Saviour
And leave us at His feet.
Mary, shield us from danger,
Keep our souls from sin,
Help thy exiled children
Heav'n at last to win.

Oh! We love thee, Mary.
Trusting all to thee;
What is past or present,
What is yet to be.

George S. Brady.
Mary in Song and Prayer.
Virginia: George S. Brady, 1972.

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Mother of Grace

Whom earth, and sea, and sky proclaim
The Ruler of their triple fame -
He unto Whom their praises rise
Within the womb of Mary lies.

O happy Mother that thou art!
Close underneath thy beating heart
Lies thy Creator-God Who plann'd
The world He holds within His hand.

Blest by the herald Angel's tongue,
O'er thee God's shadowing Spirit hung,
And fill'd thy womb whence issued forth
The long-desir'd of all the earth.

O Mary, Mother of all Grace,
Mother of Mercy to our race,
Protect us now from Satan's power,
And own us at life's closing hour.

From the Little Office
George S. Brady. Mary in Song and in Prayer.
Virginia: George S. Brady, 1972.

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