September Poetry

September poetry is a collection of poems that concentrates on two of the month's Marian feasts: the Nativity of Our Lady (September 8) and the Holy Name of Mary (September 12). There are also several poems which utilize summer-time images in order to express Mary's maternal care for the natural order of God's creation.

Ancestry of the Virgin Mary (Arbol de Jese)


Index of September Poetry

 


Our Lady's Birthday

My heart went out ashopping
on life's highway
to choose a precious present
for Mary's birthday:

It trafficked first with pleasure;
her wares were all unfit
to give the Queen of Sorrows
whose days were grief-lit.
The shop of wealth allured it -
with ivory, silver, jade;
with coffers, gold-enladened;
with luxuries man-made.
But heart o'mine was sated
within a little hour -
what would Lady Mary's be
a precious, precious present
for her of Galilee.
But fame refused admittance -
Since years and years ago
Mary had defrauded it,
had gone incognito.

Just around the corner
in a quiet byway,
my heart came on a present
for Mary's birthday:
Beauty, royal beauty,
was hourly being wrought
by craftsmen of the shops of God -
ah! Could this gift be bought!

Sir Chastity, the Weaver,
with Lady Poverty,
obedience, the priceless woof -
the wheel - constancy.
My heart has done its shopping
in the King's byway;
and Mary shall have beauty
as gift on her birthday.

Frances Marie Shannon The Sign - September 1934

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Birth of Mary

O what must it have cost the angels
not suddenly to burst into song, as one bursts into tears,
since indeed they knew: on this night the mother is being
born to the boy, the One, who shall soon appear.

Soaring they held themselves silent and showed the direction
where, alone, Joachim's farm lay;
ah, they felt in themselves and in space the pure precipitation,
but none might go down to him.

For the two were already quite beside themselves with ado.
A neighbor-woman came and played wise and did not know how,
and the old man, carefully, went and withheld the mooing
Of a dark cow. For so it had never yet been.

Rainer Maria Rilke
translated from the German by M.D. Herter Norton
Trapp, Jacob, ed. Modern Religious Poems: A Contemporary Anthology. New York: Harper and Row, 1964.

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Our Lady's Nativity

Star of the morning, how still was thy shining,
when its young splendor arose on the sea!
Only the angels, the secret divining,
hailed the long-promised, the chosen, in thee.

Sad were the fallen, and vainly dissembled
fears of "the woman" in Eden foretold;
darkly they guessed, as believing they trembled,
who was the gem for the casket of gold.

Oft as thy parents bent musingly o'er thee,
watching thy slumbers and blessing their God,
little as they dreamt of the glory before thee,
little they thought thee the mystical Rod.

Though the deep heart of the nations forsaken
beat with a sense of deliverance nigh;
true to a hope through the ages unshaken,
looked for "the day-spring" to break "from on high";

Thee they perceived not, the pledge of redemption
hidden like thought, though no longer afar;
not through the light of a peerless exemption
beamed in thy rising, immaculate star!

The Nativity of the Virgin Mary

All in the twilight, so modestly shining,
dawned thy young beauty, sweet star of the sea!
Only the angels, the secret divining,
hailed the elected, "the Virgin" in thee.

B.H.D. Catholic World -
September 1870, v.11, page 825

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Mary

What beauty and what meaning
Lies hidden in that name.
Though many times I hear it,
It never sounds the same.

It often makes me think
Of the radiance on your face,
When the Angel Gabriel said,
"Hail Mary, full of grace."

Or I see you smiling sweetly
At the crib where He was born,
And softly humming lullabies
On that first Christmas morn.

Sometimes I seem to sense
The joy you must have felt,
When you were crowned in glory
As before your God you knelt.

So, Mother dearest, pray for me
Lest from thy path I roam,
Keep me ever close to Jesus
And bring me safely home.

C. F. Fitzgerald - Sutton File

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Nativity of Our Lady

Deep hung the pagan darkness when she came,
Christ's Mother, to the world of sin and woe,
The sweet uplifter earth had sighed for so.
The vestal lights burned dim; the rose wreath's flame
Leaped into ashes, like hearts dead to shame.
Once bright with virtue's rare and chastening glow,
Until by pagan passion-fires brought low;
Honor was dead, and vice alone was fame.

Then shone the glory of true womanhood,
The strong, the pure, the gentle and the good,
Through her creation claimed a bartered right,
New flowers flushed in pagan gardens wild.
Ascendant, like the day-star in the night,
Reigned the Christ's Mother, sinless, undefiled.

F.L. Murphy - The Apostle - September 1965.

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Mary

The Birth of the Virgin Mary

Mary! Sweet name revered above,
And oh! How dear below!
In it are hope and holy love,
And blessings from it flow.

Mary! What music in that sound,
Pure lips breathe it even;
"Ave Maria," sings earth around,
And souls look up to heaven.

Mary! Bright Angels speak the name
With rev'rence soft and low;
And God himself, ever the same,
His love for it did show.

Mary! To me that name recalls
The Queen who reigns above,
An angel sister in Heaven's halls,
And one worthy of love.
Mary! Bright star of heavenly rest,
I love thy name and thee;
Mother purest, Virgin ever blest,
Look down and pray for me.

Anonymous - Sutton File

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Mary

I wish I had my choice of names,
When I was given mine;
For I'd be rich to start in life,
If I were given Thine;
Thine is the sweetest name to me,
For Mother it belongs to Thee,
And what is Thine in smallest part
Is ever dearest to my heart.
Mary, Thy name, denied to me,
I will proclaim eternally.

Adelaide Connor - The New World -May 3, 1963.

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Mary's Name

Rare perfume is a rough and reeking place,
A bell-like music breaking through the blare
Of strident streets, a dear remembered face
Appearing through the mind's pondrous despair.

A foam of summer flowers fringing the drear
Immobile desert sea, a cherished voice
Calling in some long night of pain and fear
To make the heavy, heaving heart rejoice.
Such is the mystic wonder of her name
That is a shudder down Hell's shaken halls,
And joy where angel-wings flit like white flames,
Where height to echoing height its glory calls.

Liam Bhophy - The Apostle - October 1962.

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The Most Holy Name of Mary

"The name of Mary," says St. Anthony of Padua,
"is sweeter to the lips than the honeycomb,
more delightful to the ear than a sweet song,
more entrancing to the heart than the purest joy."

"Surely," says St. Bernard, "the Mother of God
could not have a name more appropriate,
nor one more impressive of her high dignity.
Mary is, in fact, the beautiful and brilliant star
which shines upon the vast and stormy sea of the world."

Oh, how we should honor this holy name!
We should ever invoke God the Father,
God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost,
through it.

Tenderly must her Divine Son have spoken that name.
How His Sacred Heart was moved when He was called
the Son of Mary!
Never cease to plead with Him....
Through his Mother's holy name.

What more pleasing prayer can we offer to Jesus
than that we have devotion to this name?

Fr. Judge - Irish Catholic - January 26, 1961.

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Mary

Mary! A Name too pure
for mortal lips
Or language of the seraphim,
First borrowed from the songs
of heaven,
It stirs the soul, yet soothes
our fears.

O Mary! Who, in joy, or tears,
While onward o'er the surges
driven,
Hath e'er unaided called on
thee,
Thou Star of life's tempestuous
sea!

Sweet Name of power and
virgin love,
Fair as the spotless heavens
above,
Bright as the wave beneath
the sun,
Pure as the cloudless diamond.

Tabernacle and Purgatory - September 1960.

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Our Lady's Nativitye

Joye in the risinge of our orient starr,
That shall bringe forth the Sunne that lent her light;
Joy in the peace that shall conclude our warr,
And soone rebate the edge of Satan's spight;
Load-starr of all engolfd in worldly waves,
The card and compasse that from shipwracke saves.

The patriark and prophettes were the floures
Which Tyme by course of ages did distill,
And culld into this little cloude the shoures
Whose gracious droppes the world with joy shall fill;
Whose moysture suppleth every soule with grace,
And bringeth life to Adam's dyinge race.

For God, on Earth, she is the royall throne,
The chosen cloth to make His mortall weede;
The quarry to cutt out our Corner-stone,
Soyle full of fruite, yet free from mortall seede;
For heavenly floure she is the Jesse rodd
The childe of man, the parent of God.

Robert Southwell (1560-1595)
Jennings, Elizabeth, ed. In Praise of Our Lady. Great Britain: Pitman Press, 1982.

Birth of the Virgin Mary
Mariae Geburt
(15C.)

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Thorns for September

The rose is blowing now, a shattered thing,
That once held beauty high above the thorn.
It will be stripped some nearing autumn morn,
Such is the sadness that September brings!
The vanished loveliness....the sharper sorrow
That seeks out every flower and every tree,
Leaving them desolate for all to see,
Caught in the shivering chill of some tomorrow.

And so does Mary's heart lie shattered, too,
As she looks up to find no blossoming tree -
Only the cross beyond Gethsemane
Stark in the winter wind. How much she knew
Of death and loneliness and bitter hours,
And sharp and cruel thorns that own no flowers!

Blanche Yvonne Mosler
Robert, Cyril. Our Lady's Praise in Poetry. Poughkeepsie, NY: Marist Press, 1944.

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In Anne's Cottage

A humble cottage stands in Nazareth,
Full of the rose's and lily's breath.
A brooklet sprays the garden with its dew,
White pigeons round the lowly roof beams coo.
Out in the yard there stand two wide green trees
Bending their heads while in their crown hum bees.
And Anne kneels in the dust and weeps and prays
And wrestles with her God for many days:
"O Lord, see Thou thy handmaid's bitter shame,
Though ever faithful I call on Thy name.
Thou art my hope, my comfort, and my light;
O take my curse away, make my life bright.
The mothers all disdainfully pass by...
Whene'er I hear a baby's joyous cry
Or see a baby smile on mother's lap,
It rends my heart....I mourn my dark mishap.
Must I alone have no child to caress?
Must weep in silence and deep soul distress?
In shame my dear and ever faithful spouse
Has gone away from our lonely house;
To flee from constant words of jeer...
He went away into the desert drear
And never can be happy anymore.
I sit alone behind the cottage door.
O why hast Thou this blessing me denied?
My hair is gray, my lips from weeping dried.
But  'neath thy ever blessed hand
May bloom an Eden in the desert land,
It Thou commandest, it is quickly done,
Give me a child, a daughter or a son.
Now from the trees a gentle rustling sound,
An angel stands before her on the ground.
"God's peace to thee and do no longer weep,
Look up and let thy heart in joy waves leap,
For thou, the childless, gray and old,
Shalt soon upon thy knees a daughter hold.
Arise, go to the temple's golden gate
Where lovingly thy spouse shall thee await.
Go forth and offer grateful sacrifice,
Within a year thou shalt be happy mother-wise."
Now bloom the lilies twice as bright,
The brooklet sings with all its might,
The roses spread a fragarance doubly sweet,
The pigeons coo more gayly as they meet.
St. Anne lifts up her hand in joyous pray'r,
Her face is like a maiden's glad and fair;
"My little daughter sent by grace divine,
Will be my autumn day's bright spring sunshine."

Frederick M. Lynk
Robert, Cyril. Our Lady's Praise in Poetry. Poughkeepsie, NY: Marist Press, 1944.

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September's Child

Birth of the Virgin Mary
Mariae Geburt
(15C.)

September's skies are sapphire hue;
Blue gentians star the woods at morn
Near crystal pools in woodland aisles -
In this bright month a Queen was born.

No silver fanfare filled the air
As angel wings flashed round the child;
No crown was placed upon her head,
But at her halo, Heaven smiled.

October's trees wear rosaries
Of gold and scarlet, green and brown,
And as the west wind fingers them
The Ave-leaves drift slowly down.

May raises high her blossom-shrines
Where bird-choirs sing their wood-notes wild,
But both these months pay homage to
A blue-gowned Queen - September's child.

Sr. Maryanna
Robert, Cyril. Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine. Poughkeepsie, NY: Marist Press, 1946.

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The Birthday of Our Queen (September 8)

All hail, O new world! Come and see
Here in a cradle lies our Queen,
Mother of God, one day to be,
O come and see this heavenly scene.

A beauteous, fragrant rose-bud,
Immaculate! God's own flower,
His masterpiece of royal blood
Who came to earth this midnight hour!

Thousands of angels stand to guard
This mystical counterpart of God
And Seraphs play sweet lullabies
Upon their harps, as Cherubs laud.

Hail holy babe! Hail full of grace!
With wee hands clasped, with eyelids closed
She talks with God - face to face!

Sr. Francis Marie
Robert, Cyril. Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine. Poughkeepsie, NY: Marist Press, 1946.

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Song in Late Summer

Soft and blue are thy robes, my Mother,
Azure and clear as an angel's eyes -
Let me hide in them, oh, my Mother -
Radiant Queen of the summer skies!

Softly piled on the far horizon
Smoky white clouds drifting here and there;
These the border on your blue mantle -
Mother most holy.....Virgin most fair!

Deep and blue and wide is the ocean -
Deep as the call of its peace to me;
Jeweled and shining.....Thy veil, my Mother?
Thy silvered veil, oh Star of the sea?

Edith M. Stoney
Robert, Cyril. Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine. Poughkeepsie, NY: Marist Press, 1946.

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Mary's Nativity (Feast, September 8)

A baby girl was born as sweet as May
And like a rosebud in her cradle lay.
She looked up to her mother with blue eyes
And smiled up at her father baby-wise.
Through all the house bright sunbeams seemed to
glide,
And swarms of larks began to sing outside.
White lambkins leaped in through the open door
And bleated joyously as ne'er before.
Into the garden father soon took babykin
And fondly stroked her dimpled little chin.
The palms and roses bowed in reverence,
White doves flew up from every garden fence
And sat right on the darling baby's breast
And cooed to her in never ceasing zest.
Up in the skies floated another air,
Much sweeter than the lark song and more fair,
And softer than the harp and violin;
It must have been her happy angel kin.
And all the people who that day passed by
Were strangely happy though they knew not why.
In all the town no evil word was spoken
And all day long no law of God was broken.
Old pious songs and joyous laughs were heard
In every home, as if by magic stirred.
Old Mother Anna blossomed in young grace,
No slightest fold lay on her kindly face.
She put her hands so soft and motherly
Around her babe and sang her melody.
The sun stood still, it seemed, for many hours,
As if too loath to seek her wonted bowers.
The stars came out and joined in merry dance
Around the golden moon's new radiance.
And all because this rosy babe was born
To usher in Redemption's blessed morn.

Fr. Lynk
Robert, Cyril. Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine. Poughkeepsie, NY: Marist Press, 1946.

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Roses For September

The year holds countless roses for its own,
And I have loved them all, from April on;
But only once I wept with the season flown,
And only once I grieved with a season gone....
Not Springtime with young blossoming drew a tear,
Even when Mary's wild flowering blew away, -
I waited then for summer, without fear,
And knew beyond June's beauty August lay
Rampant with crimson flame! No, not until
September circled, did my heart feel pain,
When Autumn's roses full-blown.....as roses will...
Scattered their petals in the colder rain.
For I remembered Mary used to know
Last roses, too, against the winter's snow!

Blanche Yvonne Mosler
Robert, Cyril. Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine. Poughkeepsie, NY: Marist Press, 1946.

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To Our Mother On Her Birthday

Happy birthday, dearest Mother!
Sing our youthful hearts today,
And the birds and flowers seem joining
In our merry roundelay.
How the angels must be singing
Round thy white, resplendent throne,
While the saints in their holy rapture
Claim thee as their very own.

But, dear Mother, deign to listen
As thy children here on earth
Offer unto thee their greetings,
Though they be of little worth,
Save that love is pulsing through them
From thy little ones sincere,
Who are hoping they may meet thee
On some birthday, Mother dear.

Robert, Cyril. Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine. Poughkeepsie, NY: Marist Press, 1946.

Nativity of the Virgin
Mariae Geburt (15C.)

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