Longfellow:“Virgin mother, daughter of your Son,more humble and sublime than any creature,fixed goal decreed from all eternity,you are the one who gave to human natureso much nobility that its Creatordid not disdain His being made its creature.That love whose warmth allowed this flower to bloomwithin the everlasting peace—was loverekindled in your womb; for us above,you are the noonday torch of charity,and there below, on earth, among the mortals,you are a living spring of hope. Lady,you are so high, you can so intercede,that he who would have grace but does not seekyour aid, may long to fly but has no wings.Your loving—kindness does not only answerthe one who asks, but it is often readyto answer freely long before the asking.In you compassion is, in you is pity,in you is generosity, in youis every goodness found in any creature.This man—who from the deepest hollow inthe universe, up to this height, has seenthe lives of spirits, one by one—now pleadswith you, through grace, to grant him so much virtuethat he may lift his vision higher still—
may lift it toward the ultimate salvation.
THOU Virgin Mother, daughter of thy Son
Humble and high beyond all other creature,
The limit fixed of the eternal counsel,
Thou art the one who such nobility
To human nature gave, that its Creator
Did not disdain to make himself its creature.
Within thy womb rekindled was the love,
By heat of which in the eternal peace
After such wise this flower has germinated.
Here unto us thou art a noonday torch
Of charity, and below there among mortals
Thou art the living fountain—head of hope.
Lady thou art so great, and so prevailing,
That he who wishes grace, nor runs to thee
His aspirations without wings would fly.
Not only thy benignity gives succour
To him who asketh it, but oftentimes
Forerunneth of its own accord the asking
In thee compassion is, in thee is pity,
In thee magnificence, in thee unites
Whate’er of goodness is in any creature.
Now doth this man, who from the lowest depth
Of the universe as far as here has seen
One after one the spiritual lives,
Supplicate thee through grace for so much power
That with his eyes he may uplift himself
Higher towards the uttermost salvation.
Vergine Madre, figlia del tuo figlio,
umile e alta più che creatura,
termine fisso d’etterno consiglio,
tu se’ colei che l’umana natura
nobilitasti sì, che ’l suo fattore
non disdegnò di farsi sua fattura.
Nel ventre tuo si raccese l’amore,
per lo cui caldo ne l’etterna pace
così è germinato questo fiore.
Qui se’ a noi meridïana face
di caritate, e giuso, intra ’ mortali,
se’ di speranza fontana vivace.
Donna, se’ tanto grande e tanto vali,
che qual vuol grazia e a te non ricorre,
sua disïanza vuol volar sanz’ ali.
La tua benignità non pur soccorre
a chi domanda, ma molte fïate
liberamente al dimandar precorre.
In te misericordia, in te pietate,
in te magnificenza, in te s’aduna
quantunque in creatura è di bontate.
Or questi, che da l’infima lacuna
de l’universo infin qui ha vedute
le vite spiritali ad una ad una,
supplica a te, per grazia, di virtute
tanto, che possa con li occhi levarsi
più alto verso l’ultima salute.