THAT MIDNIGHT HOUR

The Virgin Mother kneels upon the floor
And holds her baby in her arm,
Her heart is gladder than her lips can say,
To keep her new born baby snug and warm,
A babe more sweet and fair and dear
Than any rose bud in the bright sunshine,
Whose little eyes look straight into her own,
O, blessed maid, God's son is also thine.

'Twas holy midnight, when He came to earth:
As pours a sun ray through a limpid glass,
Not leaving any mark upon its face;
A drop of dew upon the fresh green grass,
A little star that fell upon her lap,
A cooing babe, that seeks her virgin breast.
The hopes of all the sin-cursed world
Upon this baby's eyelids rest.

And ever since the midnight hour is holy,
And millions of human hearts are stirred
To wonderment and love for Him who came,
To save the world, God's own incarnate Word.
He came in darkness, He who was The Light,
His godhead shone from clear blue baby eyes,
The curse of earth's first sin was lifted then,
That midnight hour reopened paradise.

Frederick M. Lynk, S.V.D.
Robert, Cyril. Our Lady's Praise in Poetry. New York: Marist Press, 1944.


THE GIFT OF GOD

There was seen a radiance
Glowing one night
Near the little maiden Mary
In blue and white.

"Lilies are not fairer,
"Roses more red,
Than the Child she sings to slumber,"
An angel said.

So the shepherds ventured
Through the white cold,
And their eyes beheld the Infant,
An hour old.

Long they gazed and wondered,
Awkward in awe,
At the paramount perfection
Within their straw.

"Diamonds are but trifles!
"Rubies no gem!"
Cried the hearts that slaved for pittance
Near Bethlehem.

So it was forever,
After the night
When the little maiden Mary
Wore blue and white.

Mary Fabyan Windeatt
Robert, Cyril. Our Lady's Praise in Poetry. New York: Marist Press, 1944.


BETHLEHEM AND CALVARY

Oh, silent Bethlehem, attend and see
How gently Mary tends her new-born King:
Mark with what reverence and ecstasy,
Her humble virgin heart with joy will sing.

See with what tenderness, she tucks within,
Those coverlets, His tiny Hands and Feet,
Oh, with what loving care she kisses Him,
And smoothes the pillow for His Head so sweet.

Oh silent Bethlehem, attend and see,
Mary's most precious task is now complete!

Oh silent Calvary, attend and see,
How sadly Mary watches Christ, her King,
Mark with what noble, patient sympathy,
Her anguished mother heart meets sorrow's ring.

Bravely she watches, her sweet face grows pale,

And suffers other hands to "tuck Him in,"
His Hands and Feet they "tuck" beneath the nails,
His kiss is gall; a token of man's sin.

Oh, silent Calvary, attend and see,
Man's most ignoble work is now complete!

Winifred Cannon
Robert, Cyril. Our Lady's Praise in Poetry. New York: Marist Press, 1944.


TO MARY

Many a year is hurried past
Since first your eyes on me were cast
Ah! Happy day! You held me fast.
My Mary!

A young maid's mind began to grow
And learn't of you--God's Hand-maid low
And learn't to love, to love you so.
My Mary!

And then one blessed Christmas night
You left your home in heaven's height
You stood before me glowing white.
My Mary!

Just for a while you lingered there
And then you left your Child so fair
The first time in my heart to care.
My Mary!

Oh, Blest Communion, Christmas day,
Oh, Mary, grant that I may stay
Close to your Child and you alway.
My Mary!

Sr. Mary Elena, O.S.F.
Robert, Cyril. Our Lady's Praise in Poetry. New York: Marist Press, 1944.


WONDER

There is faint music in the night,
And pale wings fanned by silver flight;
A frosty hill with tender glow
Of countless stars that shine on snow.
A shelter from the winter storm,
A straw-lined manger, safe and warm,
And Mary crooning lullabies,
To hush her Baby's sleepy sighs.
Her eyes are rapt upon His Face,
Unheeded here is time and space;
Her heart filled with blinding joy,
For God's own Son--her little Boy!

Nancy Buckley
Robert, Cyril. Our Lady's Praise in Poetry. New York: Marist Press, 1944.


GLORIA IN EXCELSIS DEO!

Within a stable sweet with hay,
And warm with breath of kine,
The Baby and his Mother lay,
O mystery divine!
The bed of straw cloud appears,
We hear the music of the spheres.
Gloria in excelsi Deo!

Dear Maiden Mother, let us now,
While to your breast He clings,
In humble adoration bow
With shepherds and with kings,
And at His feet our off'ring be
Praise, love, faith, hope, and charity.
Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Mary O'Reilly
Robert, Cyril. Our Lady's Praise in Poetry. New York: Marist Press, 1944.


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