On this, Our Lady’s Nativity, another poem by the 17th century English Jesuit martyr, Saint Robert Southwell. Happy feast!
Our Lady’s Nativity
Joy in the rising of our orient star,
That shall bring forth that Sun that lent her light;
Joy in the peace that shall conclude our war,
And soon rebate the edge of Satan’s spite;
Lode-star of all engulf’d in worldly waves,
The card and compass that from shipwreck saves.
The patriarchs and prophets were the flowers
Which time by course of ages did distill,
And culled into this little cloud the showers
Whose gracious drops the world with joy shall fill;
Whose moisture suppleth every soul with grace,
And bringeth life to Adam’s dying race.
For God, on earth, she is the royal throne,
The chosen cloth to make his mortal weede;
The quarry to cut out our Corner-stone,
Soil full of fruit, yet free from mortal seed;
For heavenly flower she is the Jesse rod
The child of man, the parent of a God.
St Robert Southwell, c.1561-1595
Fr Lee Kenyon