O Woman, greatly blest, all praise to thee
Whom Seers foretold, and Saints in ecstasy
Have seen in light enthroned; behold, on high
Thou sittest, Lady, in thy majesty;
And I, in untaught accents, sing of thee.
Most Valiant thou of women, made to be
The Mother of the new-born Race; oh, see,
To the sweet depths of thy humility
Hath God descended, and created thee
Mother and Queen of His Humanity.
It was the crown of this great grace that He,
God's Holy Spirit, overshadowed thee;
More than the vows of thy Virginity,
Than the resignment of Maternity,
Was the great strength of thy humility.
Oh, why art thou so fair? Why willeth He,
O Blessed Virgin, thus thy Spouse to be?
Why, but because He had forechosen thee
Before the worlds, His Own, such-wise to be
That thou with Him our Ransomer shouldst be.
Rejoice, O Father Adam; this is she
Who pleads with God, who chosen is to be
The Mother of the Saviour. Joyously
Sing, Mother Eve, nor inconsolably
Weep for the wrong committed 'neath the tree.
Lo, she is come thy place to take, to be
A Second Mother to Humanity:
Mary will satisfaction find for thee;
For as by woman man hath fallen, he
By Woman shall be lifted, righteously.
Did Eve bring death? By Mary life shall be;
The baffled dragon shall, tormented, flee;
By Man and Woman vanquished, lo, is he;
Through Eve the curse was merited; but see,
Mary hath merited to set us free.
- text taken from Mary: The Perfect Woman, by Emily Mary Shapcote