Mary's Little Office

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Ave Maria or The Brown Scapular

Lady, thy soldier I would be,
This day I choose thy shield,
And go, thrice-armored for the fight,
Forth to the world's wide field.

There I shall meet the dark allies,
The Flesh, the Fiend, the World,
And fiercely shall their darts of fire 
Upon my heart be hurled.

But I will raise my buckler strong
Betwixt me and the foe,
And, with the spirit's flaming sword,
Shall give them blow for blow.

Lady, thy sailor I would be,
This day I sign my name
To sail the high seas of the earth
For glory of thy fame.

The tempest may besiege my bark,
The pirate lie in wait;
The perils of the monstrous deep
May tempt o'erwhelming fate:

Yet, whereso'er my ship may steer
Upon the waters wide,
Thy name shall be my compass sure,
Thy star my midnight guide.

Thy poet, Lady, I would be
To sing thy peerless praise;
Thy loyal bard, I'd bring to thee
Heart-music from all lays.

Soft melody, outpoured in June
By God's dear feathered throng,
Would mingle with the organ's roll
To glorify my song;

And Dante's voice and Petrarch's strain
And Milton's matchless line
Would lend to my poor minstrel note
A harmony divine.

Lady, I choose to be thy son;
For Mother thee I choose;
O, for thy sweet and holy Child,
Do not my claim refuse!

Alone and motherless am I:
Tho' strong, I long for rest―
The thunder of the world's applause
Is not a mother's breast.

Ave Maria! Shield us all.
Thy sons we choose to be.
Mother of grace, we raise our hearts, 
Our hearts, our love to thee!

By John Jerome Rooney
Joyce Kilmer's Anthology of Catholic Poets
Halcyon House, New York - 1939
Page  225

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