Ave Virgo Mater Christi

“Hail, Virgin Mother of Christ”
by Walter of Wimborne, O.F.M. (fl. 13th century, England)

1.  Hail, virgin, mother of Christ,
you who by your modesty merited
to be called phoenix of virgins;
hail, virgin, whose fruit
gave to us the end of sorrow
and the limit of lamentation.

2.  Hail, beautiful virgin,
for whose praise neither prose
nor meter suffices;
hail, virgin, turning-post of evil,
vein of life, through whom the death
of foul death is accomplished.

3.  Hail, glorious virgin,
you who are the comment and gloss
of prophetic scripture,
whose gloss lays bare
that which is veiled
by the hard shell of the letter.

4.  Hail, virgin, key of heaven,
hail, new ship weighed down
with novel wares,
through whom on full sails
is brought the full light from heaven
to the blind and wandering.

5.  Hail, maidenly gem,
hail, bright star of the sea,
hail, box of money,
hail, torch and lantern
whom the supernal light sets light,
firebrand of eternal light.

6.  Hail, virgin, whose belly
diligently sealed
swelled with a new growth;
without pain and torment
the splendor and figure of the Father
wished to be born from you.

7.  Hail, virgin, dwelling of the Word,
chastley pregnant by chaste breath
not by impure seed;
to you worthily we give odes,
you who knot God with mud,
and mother with virgin.

8.  Hail, virgin, cell of the Word,
concealing the light-beam of deity
under a cloud of flesh;
hail, virgin, covering of God,
through whom the clouded, bleary, blind
eye of the mind has its salve.

9.  Hail, virgin, abyss of honey,
you who drive far away the ancient gall
of death and sorrow,
you who with the needle of providence
joined God with mud
and the lowest with the highest.

10.  Hail, virgin, saw of death,
whose belly is a casket
of celestial incense;
hail, virgin, whom the power
of the bountiful Spirit made sacred,
fortunate and fertile.

11.  Hail, gracious virgin,
alone pregnant and ventrosa
without the work of a man,
the support of the sick
lifting the burden of sins
with the pious burden of the belly.

12.  Hail, virgin, sweetness of mind,
in whom the accused and exiled heart
is founded, fixed, anchored,
whether in sickness or at sea,
whoever strives to be freed
remembers studiously.

13.  Hail, virgin, whom Christians
invoke in the straightened
terrors of Martial death;
hail, prudent and wise,
through whom profligate salvation
is restored to the faithful.

14.  Hail, incense of heaven,
whose fragrance, whose fame
supports the highest stars,
whose name honeys ears,
when uttered it strikes them,
and paints the atmosphere.

15.  Hail, shield of sinners
and gadfly of elegies,
rather, of the refectory;
hail, hamper full of bread,
robe of Christ, seductress of Christ,
Christ’s book of dogma.

16.  Hail, through whom are joined,
conjoined, connected
with a virginal pin
the lamb and the lion, the end and the way,
the cloud and the brightness, the ash and the divine will,
the nebula and the ray.

17.  Hail, from whose womb,
saving the flower of modesty,
the Word of the Father came forth;
you bear a male without a male,
the standing corn of the male not through a bud
but through the Holy Spirit.

18.  Hail, cloud shot through
with the flames of Phoebus and adorned
with the rainbow of divinity,
you who conceal the light under a shadow
and who cover the eternal Word
with the mantle of our flesh.

19.  Hail, vertex of honesty,
hail, portent of sanctity,
hail, spring of life,
hail, feather of purity,
hail, throne of the Trinity,
hail, hiding-place of light.

20.  Hail, virgin, carriage of God,
sanctuary of God, in which the heavenly
torch is set alight;
you are the mineral of salvation [health],
the club, point, and machera
by which cut down death dies.

21.  Hail, you through whom those rise up who
fell through the cunning
of the ancient serpent;
hail, you who through the chaste couch
deceive the law of the flesh
and the consequence of the logicians.

22.  For they say that such follows,
with whom natural scientists agree:
she is a mother, therefore
she knows a man and has been broken,
but Mary [who] got a child
says that it does not follow.

23.  They say that, if a plant
lacks sap, it is always dry,
dry it never buds;
but the Virgin by bearing Christ
intact loosens that knot
and unbinds it.

24.  Hail, mother, changing the custom
of childbirth in childbirth, for you reverse
the pain of childbirth;
you bear a flower, but in childbirth
you blot out neither the flower
nor the radiance of modesty.

25.  The mother’s grief is delayed
until the child is suffering,
so that they should be in travail together,
because the abuses of the sufferer,
the spit, the nails, the cross pierce
the mother’s soul like a sword.

26.  Hail, singular virgin,
health-giving medicine-chest
of the spices of the thearchicus;
hail, you whose heart was consecrated
from the cradle by the coals
of ecstatic love.

27.  Hail, virgin, wordy vessel,
planting matronly honor
in a virgin’s stock;
hail, the steward of whose belly
and the house of whose holy womb
rejoice in God as guest.

28.  Hail, virgin happy with child,
whom God-seeing John
saw clothed with the sun,
under whose feet is spread out
the globe of the moon, as the aforesaid
high-seer added.

29.  Hail, virgin, school of manners,
who clothed Apollo
with the garment of our nature;
you prepared a couch for God,
and you made the angels’
abbot into a novice.

30.  Hail, mother, virgin pure,
death and destruction [caesura] to Death,
the song of the Muses for the sad;
hail, rejoice, sweet virgin,
you who ought to be praised
with loose fibers and gaping jaws.

31.  Hail, gem of women,
you who before all found
an abundance of graces;
in you he made a beautiful zeugma,
when he united the Breath with the Word,
a two-fold substance.

32.  Hail, virgin, all beautiful,
whose modesty no mark
of blemish “delilies”;
hail, drinking-bowl of new wine,
hail, mother [parens], hail, mother [mater],
whom Venus did not corrupt.

33.  Hail, drinking-bowl whose wine
that faithful, that just
Peter did inebriate,
with whose draught he found the daring
to become a new herald of the Word
and to burst forth in words.

34.  Hail, high-born virgin,
whose radiant cheek
mixes roses with lilies;
fertile land without furrows,
bringing forth fruit, but never
touched by wanton arms.

35.  Hail, beauty of heaven, hail,
temple and chamber of God,
in whose proclamation
every lofty scribe is cast down,
every keen rhetor sours
and seems paltry in eloquence.

36.  Hail, at whose pious prayer
the filth of sinners having been washed away
the guilty rejoice in forgiveness,
whom the grates [or lattices] of hell
broken she bears to the starry
palaces of the heavens.

37.  Hail, new vessel seasoning
human waters previously evil
made healthy by the salt of God;
hail, drawing God into the secret [separate]
couch and making the concrete
from the abstract.

38.  Hail, you whose pious right hand
is accustomed piously to clean
inside and out those who become dirty
and the filth of sin washed away
to place those made clear
in the clear kingdom of God.

39.  Hail, virgin, rod of Jesse,
whom the choir of the heavenly
court praises without wearying,
but all the muses of the eulogizers
sink down under the great
weight of the matter.

40.  Hail, virgin, mother, rejoice,
in singing whose praise
the cherub is equal to Cherilus;
sufficiently adorned without adornment
you conquer the redly-glowing brother
of Phoebe with [your] ruddy face.

41.  Hail, victrix of the savage enemy,
enclosing God in a little cloister,
measuring the great with the small,
you turn the hay of the flesh into grain
and mud into gold,
joining the flesh with the Word.

42.  Hail, compared to whose beauty
the light of day is as horrid
as a cloudless night,
Phoebus as dung, heaven as mud,
the moon as mire, honey as poison,
honey-comb as coloquintida [bitterapple or colocynth].

43.  Hail, chaste bride of God,
you who surpass the snow
in whiteness with the beauty of your face,
you who repel the aquiline
ranks of the angels
through your shining countenance.

44.  Hail, virgin, bright vessel
of majesty, you who take
the highest paths of virtue,
free from stain, free from squalor,
because love inflames
the chords of your heart.

45.  Hail, virgin, you who conquer
the torch of night and day
with your radiant face;
the chest of your sacred belly
pleases Christ, because you lack
the crest of arrogance.

46.  Hail, thyme, marigold, rose,
fertile vine and leafy
palm-tree with slender [young] leaves;
hail, oven, in which fiery-haired
love burned and
by burning sent forth its fragrance.

47.  Hail, virginal glory,
vessel of spiritual fat,
larder of grace,
omen [new year’s present] of peace, pledge of life,
subtle compendium [abbreviation, prebend, realm]
of infinite majesty.

48.  Hail, little bee of heaven,
you who draw from the bosom of God
the fragrant little flower,
and from the flower you suck honey-comb,
with whose taste the eighth
age is reached.

49.  Hail, mother, hail, virgin,
whom whoever believes
in the highest highway of life invokes,
whom he who is the motor of the heavens
sets up over the triple
hierarchy of angels.

50.  Hail, mother, whom he who reins
and drives the motions
of the heavens and who binds
the elements with symbols
wished to be placed on the dignity
of a throne over all the citizens of heaven.

51.  Hail, virgin, you who nursed
the Thunderer with milk and bound
the Snower with tight bands;
hail once, hail again,
you who through the flesh have arrested
the course of the flesh down the slopes.

52.  Just as the rushing water flows,
thus the mass of corrupt flesh
rushes into shameful acts,
but, when you join God to flesh,
you turn the water of the flesh
into lyeum in the jar of your belly.

53.  Hail, she from whom is forged
the coin pleasing to God
by which the world is redeemed;
contrary to the usual custom,
not through the bellows but through the breath
this die is struck.

54.  Hail, she through whom passive
that Word is made, that active
was from the beginning;
hail, through whom that serpent,
who creeps thousands of turnings,
is lifted up in the middle.

55.  Hail, virgin, mother dear,
you who are the divine object of glory [agalma],
its little nest and vaulted room,
by whose fruit we are enlivened,
enlivened we worship
the God-bearing bowels.

56.  Hail, worthy to bear God,
whose holy chastity makes heaven
border on earth,
whose heart fixed on heaven
and roasted by the fire of love
ruminates ever on Jesus.

57.  Hail, pure virgin, mother,
hail once, twice, thrice, four times,
hail a thousand times;
hail, virgin friendly, mild,
hail, mother, to be exalted
with sought for praises.

58.  Hail, mother acquainted with sorrows,
whom so many Virgils, so many Sibyls
have not the ornaments
of eloquence to praise,
whose refined qualities
are as many as the drops of the open sea.

59.  Hail, she through whom the immortal
lord became a comrade,
the possessor a possession;
in you the name of God,
a substantive acquires an adjective—
blessed is this addition!

60.  In you the first is made last,
the primitive [root-word] is derived;
such derivation
is not known to Priscian,
nor to Mantuan Maro [Virgil],
nor to the Maeonian prophet [Homer].

61.  You are the ablative of death
because you are the genitive of a son
born without sin,
you are the abstersiva of weeping,
the restorer and dative
of lost freedom.

62. Hail, mother and maiden,
you free captives
from the sword [dicella] of servitude,
and you bear away
conquered Pharaoh
to the region of light.

63.  Hail, bed of Jesus Christ,
who showed to us
the mortal mirror of life,
you who are the basket of the lawgiver
and the chest of the new law,
chariot and vehicle.

64.  You are the flask of oil,
the living way of the stream,
the little bearer of God,
the column of physicians,
the command of the shipwrecked
the second plank.

65.  You are the vessel of honey, the bottle of milk,
source, fountain and laver
purgative of filth,
bed of Christ and litter,
bride, mother and friend,
veil and tent.

66.  You are the fountain who never goes dry,
you are the flower who never withers,
the lily of paradise;
you are the staff of the wavering,
you are the little cushion
and the seat of the Thunderer.

67.  You are the door closed to suitors,
health to the sick, rest to the weary,
a dance to the sad,
Sabbath to the tired,
an electuary of health
to the diseased.

68.  You are the tub of our ship-master,
the chain or bracelet
joining the potter to the clay;
you are the tunic [cottage] of the shepherd
who drives the faithful sheep
to the food of life.

69.  Hail, virgin, pattern of morals,
hail, file of vices,
hail, saw of filth;
hail, pyx of Divinity,
hail, holy breviary
of the highest majesty.

70.  Hail, pious virgin, you who lift
us praying and suffering
up from the dust; 
our mistress of our master,
although I ate the healing too late,
you deigned to appear.

71.  Hail, by whose pious child
sinners are freed
from the mass of sins,
you who surrounded with the nourishing
wall of your narrow womb
he who encloses the heavens in his powerful hand.

72.  By a certain wonderful argument
when the virginal middle
is discovered [between] the extremes,
one infers the lesser from the greater,
but also the greater from the lesser—
blessed is this [logical] conclusion!

73.  Hail, virgin, by whose dew
the world before drooping
blossomed with the flower that lives again;
hail, mother, mother, hail,
whose birth-giving snatched us
away from the woe of fearful death.

74.  Hail, morning star,
you who guide those staggering
in the slippery marsh of life;
hail, virgin, whom wiped clean
the heavenly virtues
recognize over themselves.

75.  Hail, temple of Solomon,
hail, Gideon’s fleece,
hail, cottage of the Word,
in whom God was made curved,
so that having a handle he may be held
by the handle of our flesh.

76.  Hail, glorious virgin,
whose hand is always cracked
for those who need it;
you are light to the one-eyed, a foot to the lame,
you pour out aid to the suffering,
riches to the destitute.

77.  Hail, virgin, whom Gabriel
threw into confusion when he
saluted you in your chamber;
through you the crooked is made straight,
through you the ancient one becomes a boy,
about whom Daniel wrote.

78.  Hail, virgin dove,
seat, sanctuary, workshop
pleasing to the Son of God,
in the asbestos of whose heart
the torch of love became inflamed
with proper fire.

79.  Hail, virgin, mother of the Word,
before and after childbirth lacking
corrupting mark,
whose praises less faith
the pipe plays
at the touch of Midas’ hand.

80.  Hail, our hope, Mary,
health of the faint, because
confection of health,
by which is found aid for the sick,
in the medicine-chest
of your womb.

81.  Hail, virgin, house divine,
you who are Thalia [Muse of Comedy] of the mourner,
refuge of the poor;
hail, virgin, Clio [Muse of History] of the sad,
you who are the heavenly water-pipe
and the rain-basin of the dew.

82.  The praises of so great a mother Maro
could not carve with shining chisel
nor Titus Livy;
here Homer is without tongue
and the Minerva of Flaccus fat,
here Tully lisps.

83.  Hail, way [veha] of our leader,
hail, lump of earth, you who bring forth
seed without chaff;
you have wounded your bridegroom
with your beautiful hair
and with your little eye and your milk-white face.

84.  Hail, virgin, through whom
your diseased host is made healthy,
through whom the exile returns;
hail, through whom harsh death
is subdued, which loosens
and unbinds that which is joined.

85.  Hail, moon always filled
with the fires of Phoebus, whom the earthly
pillar does not eclipse,
whom the whole chorus of saints
prone, suppliant, devoted,
and bent forward proclaims.

86.  Hail, bright torch of heaven,
whose brightness and splendor is never covered
by damp cloud,
whose face produces a quivering [dazzle],
at which the cherub, that he may gaze upon it,
is compelled to blink.

87.  Hail, chastely having child,
alone surpassing the sun
with lovely and lively appearance;
you conquer the penetrating vision
of the eagles and the sharpness
of the eyes of the lynx.

88.  Hail, beautiful with beautiful hair,
teeth, lips, o handbag
of divine majesty,
beautiful in breasts, beautiful in brow,
beautiful in giving birth, still seductive
Venus did not burn you.

89.  Hail, beautiful in skin, flesh,
fruitful without sin,
without the seed of a man;
hail, whose whole splendor of beauty
is encompassed by the shimmering
of the firmament.

90.  Hail, beautiful in nose, cheek-bones,
beautiful in back, beautiful in the pales
in the row of teeth;
beautiful you conquer the beautiful
form of the lilies and in the swan-like
form of the swans.

91.  Hail, beautiful in canines
and gums and lips,
beautiful in beautiful eyelids;
hail, whose heel brightly
the Seraph knows not how to commend
with a hundred years of study.

92.  Hail, beautiful with beautiful calves,
beautiful with snow-white legs,
in muscles and shins;
beautiful in the soles of the feet, beautiful in ankles,
in navel, hips, armpits,
arteries and sinews.

93.  Hail, beautiful in throat, nostril,
whose form [beauty] no one can
draw with a pen,
beautiful in the whiteness of your fingers,
shoulders and upper arms,
and in the space between your shoulders.

94.  Hail, beautiful in the bend of your knee,
surpassing by your hair whatever
yellow [gold] is washed up on the bank of the Tagus;
hail, beautiful through whom, in whom
the light of beautiful Divinity
rises near us.

95. Hail, beautiful in your milk-white neck,
weakened by no luxury,
no soft petulance,
the lilies of whose chaste sanctity,
of whose holy chastity
are made eternal.

96.  Hail, beautiful in your beautiful ribs,
in whom not even the snarling enemy
could indicate a spot,
whose praises only the smith
of the sun and the dawn
could paint with his smith’s pen, the flower.

97.  Hail, beautiful of the lynx-eyed,
rather more than the rank
of the limpid-eyed,
beautiful pregnant with child,
yet stung with no itch
of lasciviousness.

98.  Hail, twigs by which is purged
the ancient filthiness of the world
and by which it is sent far away;
through you rectitude is encompassed,
while divinity is coupled
with the lowest nature.

99.  By your pious giving birth
the straight and imperfect line
of natures is perfected,
while the highest becomes lowest
and the lowest highest,
the robe of flesh having been assumed.

100.  Hail, virgin, figure of the heaven,
whom only those who lie in the dirt
have as a step-mother;
hail, oven of love,
famous for the distaff of your chastity,
famous for your famous habits.

101.  Hail, wallet of living bread,
concealing in your womb the maker
of the triple machine of the world;
hail, chastely with child,
tickled by no lascivious
appetite of the flesh.

102.  Hail, virgin, through whom
the jubilees of the guilty follow
the eternal days of rest;
hail, through whom murderers,
parricides, patricides [traitors]
return to the homeland.

103.  Hail, temple of the highest king
and incense-burning altar
of the bearer of the new law;
hail, whose virginal desert
the maker of heaven
reserved for himself alone.

104.  Hail, mother and virago,
you who clothed the one dressing
the lilies with the mantle of flesh;
hail, through whom God being born
growing young again from antiquity
is bound in bands.

105.  Hail, purple of the highest king,
hail, virgin nursing our God
with chaste breast,
rejoicing in her glorious child-birth,
because you never swelled
with haughty swelling.

106.  Hail, you through whom the sun is filtered,
through whom God is made human,
through whom God is made known,
through whom sorrow is bounded,
through whom pain is removed,
through whom laughter returns.

107.  Hail, chaste bride of God,
you who when struck opened to him
the bolt of your mind;
sweetly you give the sweet response
and admit the sweet bridegroom
hastening [falling] with a kiss.

108.  Hail, drenched by the pouring rain of heaven,
you irrigate the garden and rescue
the holy fathers from limbo;
with the deluge of this world
you clean, cleanse, wash away
the foul barbarisms of this life.

109.  You are a fountain of milk never dry,
and a well without bottom
and a honeyed abyss,
a fragrant rose of paradise,
the clothing of the Word not eaten
by the worm [moth] of corruption.

110.  The deluge of your honey
is the health-giving baptism,
by which the world is washed clean;
your nectar is the medicine
by which sin and the consequence
of sin is wiped away.

111.  Hail, way of truth
and carpenter’s square of equity,
hail, rule of rectitude,
ordinal of holiness,
new textbook of morals,
new formula of life.

112.  Hail, mother and handmaiden
of the highest king, you who offer
food from your nipple;
you feed the one feeding you with milk,
you enclose the one enclosing you in your belly,
you bear your bearer.

113.  God sends his knight
to greet you
and with the greeting to impregnate you;
you responding with practiced words
capture the winged one of God
with the inner parts of your maidenly flesh.

114.  You are a heavenly leech,
sucking honeycomb, whose plenitude
cannot be drunk up;
God sucks your honeycomb,
and you suck his honeycomb,
honey is repaid with honey.

115.  Hail, our mediatrix,
hail, whose womb swelled
without union with a man;
you are the overflowing mill,
in which God grinds pure bread
with a pure pestle.

116.  Hail, virgin pleasing to God,
mute concerning worldly things, you fall silent,
talkative concerning heavenly things;
whatever riches God has
in his treasuries, poor you draw up
with a virginal bucket.

117.  Hail, mother of step-children,
hail, drunken sponge
of the divine flow;
you are the bush burning with the fire
of youth, but preserved
by remarkable modesty.

118.  The glowing age of youth
burns within you, but you outstrip
youthful goals,
for innate heat burns
in you, but no foulness of Venus
pollutes you foully.

119.   Hail, whose flock of wool
he turns into royal purple,
who sends lightning and snow;
hail through whom the prison of death
is despoiled and he is given
who banishes death.

120.  Hail, virgin, because through you
the gates of heaven are opened,
through you the bronze heaven
is softened and softened
it pours forth the longed for dew
and honeyed moisture.

121.  Hail, you who rescue us
from the impostures of the dragon
and the rage of the lion;
we confess you the basket
of living bread and the register
of the whole church.

122.  Hail, you through whom the Creator
becomes the attendant of the creature,
the Lord [becomes] the slave,
Jesus the judge [becomes] the defendant,
the first rhetor [becomes] a lisping child,
the verb a participle.

123.  Hail, virgin, bridle of death,
full, indeed overfull
storehouse of life;
hail, mother, citadel for the fearful,
you who are the vital granary
of living grain.

124.  Hail, you through whom death is bitten,
in whom is contained the whole
harvest of the faithful;
he, who made the heavens,
dedicated for himself
the palace of your womb.

125.  Hail, virgin, you who are peace
for the fearful and a fountain for the thirsty,
the handkerchief for the weeping;
you are the exemplum of virtue,
the victuals of God, the temple of God
and the treasure-chest.

126.  Hail, you through whom the guiltless [becomes] the accused
and through whom our God becomes
our fellow villager;
through you the great [becomes] lower,
through you the pope becomes the legate,
the primate the suffragan.

127.  Through you the sun becomes entombed,
when God fallen from heaven
is covered with a toga of flesh;
thus he becomes night, but as the psalmist
witnesses, that night will be
illuminated like day.

128.  The splendor of the eternal sun
is buried, wrapped in the shadow
of virginal earth;
however nothing of beauty or light
is taken away by the eclipse
of this Cynthia.

129.  Through you the lion becomes the lamb,
the ruler the servant
and the ancient one the little boy;
you make a foot-path out of a hill,
a valley out of a mountain broken away
and a way out of an impassable place.

130.  The sun is hidden in a sack
and divinity is weighed
in the balance of the womb;
light is measured with mud,
mortal infirmity
is cloaked with divinity.

131.  Hail, virgin, modest vessel,
to whom through the backdoor of the ear
the thundering king came,
whose breast the uncreated triangle
shielded and from the enemy
defended.

132.  God the Father begat the Son,
who with the Father breathes the Spirit,
behold, the triangle-shield!
That shield protects you,
Mary, against the triple darts
of the world, the flesh, the demons.

133.  While I praise you, mother of God,
I am ashamed at the roughness
of my scurvy wit,
for in praising you I achieve nothing,
but by treating a great matter badly
I sin through belittlement [tapeinosis].

134.  God makes himself little in you,
lessened he increases you
to the peak of holiness,
whom while I try to commend
I say nothing in so great a matter
but blow my horn harshly;

135.  Every nightingale of heaven,
full of joy for you,
sings sweet measures,
but harmony succumbs
because you, O Mary, have won
titles of so much the better.

136.  Since you cannot be encompassed by praise,
I am afraid to speak ill of you
by praising your glory,
whom the cherub could not
worthily extol
with worthy pens or songs.

137.  Every age, every sex
prone, bowed, bent,
every nation of the earth,
every symphony of heaven
praises you, but even this praise
does not suffice.

138.  Maidens and matrons,
the old with the young, prostrate and prone
pour out praises to you
with untiring voice
whom you surpass
by the inaccessible peak of your virtues.

139.  Neither Homer nor Virgil,
bright virgin, could sing
your praises with bright pen;
not even Gabriel working by night
could depict you
with a worthy poem, with a worthy pen.

140.  Hail, in whose form
Nature more powerful than art
exhausted her talent,
but when Nature failed
the art of God the Father
completed the task.

141.  Hail, whose beauty
surpasses whatever I mint
more than the light of the sun surpasses a little torch;
therefore whoever should read me
a dull writer and praiser,
will laugh at me, a screech-owl.

142.  Hail, virgin, who conquers
the snows in whiteness and in beauty
more than the lily the crow,
by whose countenance is buried
whatever shining is found
below the ray of God.

143.  You who protect with such brightness,
be for us your servants
merciful and favorable;
break the vile bonds of Eve,
lest that old leap/forest
keep us from glory.

144.  Hail, reverend virgin,
without birth-mark [mole, wart], without blemish,
moon without horns;
you by whom the crooked are made straight,
give walking to the lame and light
to the blind, laughter to the sad.

145.  Pious virgin, gentle virgin,
you who put an end to the dirges,
give us aid,
and rescue us shipwrecked
in this sea of life
from the evil of the tempests.

146.  Happy the hardened earth,
neither furrowed nor plowed
by the rustic plowshare;
empty of his deceits
who strives to entrap us
by hook, net, snare.

147.  Hail, provision of the lost
and medicine of the weak
and lyre of the mourning,
make your servant, who praises you
with stammering mouth,
to be written in the list of the triumphant.

148.  Pure Virgin, life of the world,
shell from which the precious
pearl is born,
have mercy on your servant
who slowly follows Jesus
stretched by the sinew of sin.

149.  Virgin, wet-nurse of orphans,
rod, shield of the timid
and aegis of those in need,
turn your nod or [at least] your eye
to your lamenting
and poor slave.

150.  Virgin, I beg that your right hand
be extended to your servant,
who lacks the sinew of virtue;
when I work, be thou near,
with whose support, with whose aid
the fallen are wont to be lifted up.

151.  Virgin, nuptial of the Word,
protect with your guarding wings
and extended arm;
draw your own up after you,
closing off the course of false life
with fortunate Compline.

152.  I recall to mind my wickedness
and sin, slowly however
I weep over it enough;
I am ensnared in sins,
but I trust in the vast sea
of your piety.

153.  Trembling presses my mind
when I consider with what I am pressed
and by how many evils I am soiled;
mindful of these I falter in hope,
mindful of you I greet you
and promise myself hope.

154.  Through you it is given to your servant,
to sing hymns and rejoice
in the assembly of the gods,
where mourning gives way to song,
where there is no suit of the infirm
flesh against the spirit.

155.  Virgin chaste but fertile,
whose pure breasts nursed
the maker of the world,
save your Walter,
when the late time draws nigh,
that is the evening of the world.

156.  I pray you with upturned palms,
with the music of my mouth, hymns, psalms,
lady of the angels;
grant your servant to enjoy
a quiet life after the books
of the times have been completed.

157.  Blessed one bearing
blessed fruit without affliction,
because the Lord is with you;
through you, I ask, let that bread
be given to me by which the basket
of your womb was filled.

158.  Virgin, ark of the sacred law,
the third Fate, so-called for sparing no one,
will rush on me;
remember, I pray, your Walter,
who is the dregs and seaweed of the clergy
and the dross of the Friars Minor.

159.  Fount of inexhaustible sweetness,
favorably conclude the timely
period of your servant,
so that he is not flattered by evils,
when swift he is driven
to the last synod.

160.  Through you, mother,
may there be given me a counselor
among your attendants and servants,
to whom the doctor of angels
reads the book of ethics
from the sublime chair.

161.  Virgin white as privet,
whose happy belly is the offering
of the celestial stag,
drive this lost sheep
to the shepherd
after the labor and wrestling of the age.

162.  Virgin, through whom God is given
and clothed with the mantle
of human nature,
lead your servant to life
after the toga of stinking flesh is
rent and worn away.

163.  Virgin, medicine of the world,
clothing and sheath of the Word,
confidential servant of Christ,
confidant of the angelic assembly,
you who snatched us
from the ruin of vices.

164.  Mingle your servant
drawn from the depths
with the happy company of heaven,
so that he may rejoice with them
and be fed on ambrosial feasts
forever.  A-M-E-N

--Edited by A.G. Rigg, The Poems of Walter of Wimborne (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1978), pp. 144-83; trans. Rachel Fulton Brown (2012).

1 comment:

  1. This is amazing! Thank you so much for posting this!

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