Ave Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Mother of the Fair DelightA
Thou handmaid perfect in God's sightA
Now sitting fourth beside the ThreeB
Thyself a woman TrinityB
Being a daughter born to GodC
Mother of Christ from stall to roodD
And wife unto the Holy GhostE
Oh when our need is uttermostE
Think that to such as death may strikeF
Thou once wert sister sisterlikeF
Thou headstone of humanityE
Groundstone of the great MysteryE
Fashioned like us yet more than weE
Mind'st thou not when June's heavy breathG
Warmed the long days in NazarethH
That eve thou didst go forth to giveI
Thy flowers some drink that they might liveJ
One faint night more amid the sandsK
Far off the trees were as pale wandsL
Against the fervid sky the seaE
Sighed further off eternallyE
As human sorrow sighs in sleepM
Then suddenly the awe grew deepM
As of a day to which all daysN
Were footsteps in God's secret waysN
Until a folding sense like prayerO
Which is as God is everywhereO
Gathered about thee and a voiceP
Spake to thee without any noiseQ
Being of the silence Hail it saidE
Thou that art highly favour dE
The Lord is with thee here and nowR
Blessed among all women thouR
Ah knew'st thou of the end when firstE
That Babe was on thy bosom nurs'dE
Or when He tottered round thy kneeE
Did thy great sorrow dawn on theeE
And through His boyhood year by yearS
Eating with Him the PassoverT
Didst thou discern confusedlyE
That holier sacrament when HeE
The bitter cup about to quaffJ
Should break the bread and eat thereofJ
Or came not yet the knowledge evenU
Till on some day forecast in HeavenV
His feet passed through thy door to pressW
Upon His Father's businessX
Or still was God's high secret keptE
Nay but I think the whisper creptE
Like growth through childhood Work and playE
Things common to the course of dayE
Awed thee with meanings unfulfill'dE
And all through girlhood something still'dE
Thy senses like the birth of lightE
When thou hast trimmed thy lamp at nightE
Or washed thy garments in the streamY
To whose white bed had come the dreamY
That He was thine and thou wast HisZ
Who feeds among the field liliesA2
O solemn shadow of the endE
In that wise spirit long contain'dE
O awful end and those unsaidE
Long years when It was Finish dE
Mind'st thou not when the twilight goneB2
Left darkness in the house of JohnC2
Between the naked window barsD2
That spacious vigil of the starsD2
For thou a watcher even as theyE
Wouldst rise from where throughout the dayE
Thou wroughtest raiment for His poorE2
And finding the fixed terms endureF2
Of day and night which never broughtE
Sounds of His coming chariotE
Wouldst lift through cloud waste unexplor'dE
Those eyes which said How long O LordE
Then that disciple whom He lovedE
Well heeding haply would be movedE
To ask thy blessing in His nameG2
And that one thought in both the sameG2
Though silent then would clasp ye roundE
To weep together tears long boundE
Sick tears of patience dumb and slowE
Yet Surely I come quickly soE
He said from life and death gone homeH2
Amen even so Lord Jesus comeI2
But oh what human tongue can speakF
That day when Michael came to breakF
From the tir'd spirit like a veilE
Its covenant with GabrielE
Endured at length unto the endE
What human thought can apprehendE
That mystery of motherhoodE
When thy Beloved at length renew'dE
The sweet communion sever dE
His left hand underneath thine headE
And His right hand embracing theeE
Lo He was thine and this is HeE
Soul is it Faith or Love or HopeJ2
That lets me see her standing upK2
Where the light of the Throne is brightE
Unto the left unto the rightE
The cherubim succinct conjointE
Float inward to a golden pointE
And from between the seraphimI2
The glory issues for a hymnL2
O Mary Mother be not lothM2
To listen thou whom the stars clotheN2
Who se st and mayst not be seenO2
Hear us at last O Mary QueenO2
Into our shadow bend thy faceP2
Bowing thee from the secret placeP2
O Mary Virgin full of graceP2

Dante Gabriel Rossetti


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