Child of man, parent of God — Nativity of Mary


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)

SOURCE: Jennings, Elizabeth, ed. In Praise of Our Lady. Great Britain: Pitman Press, 1982.


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