His Mother's Service to Our Lady
The Complete Poetical Works of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, ed. William M. Rossetti (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1887): 239-40. Internet Archive
1Lady of Heaven and earth, and therewithal
2Crowned Empress of the nether clefts of Hell,
3I, thy poor Christian, on thy name do call,
4Commending me to thee, with thee to dwell,
5Albeit in nought I be commendable.
6But all mine undeserving may not mar
7Such mercies as thy sovereign mercies are;
8Without the which (as true words testify)
9No soul can reach thy Heaven so fair and far.
10Even in this faith I choose to live and die.
11Unto thy Son say thou that I am His,
12And to me graceless make Him gracious.
13Sad Mary of Egypt lacked not of that bliss,
14Nor yet the sorrowful clerk Theophilus,
15Whose bitter sins were set aside even thus
16Though to the Fiend his bounden service was.
17Oh help me, lest in vain for me should pass
18(Sweet Virgin that shalt have no loss thereby!)
19The blessed Host and sacring of the Mass.
20Even in this faith I choose to live and die.
21A pitiful poor woman, shrunk and old,
22I am, and nothing learn'd in letter-lore.
23Within my parish-cloister I behold
24A painted Heaven where harps and lutes adore,
25And eke an Hell whose damned folk seethe full sore
26One bringeth fear, the other joy to me.
27That joy, great Goddess, make thou mine to be, --
28Thou of whom all must ask it even as I;
29And that which faith desires, that let it see.
30For in this faith I choose to live and die.
31O excellent Virgin Princess! thou didst bear
32King Jesus, the most excellent comforter,
33Who even of this our weakness craved a share
34And for our sake stooped to us from on high,
35Offering to death His young life sweet and fair.
36Such as He is, Our Lord, I Him declare,
37And in this faith I choose to live and die.
RPO poem Editors:
Data entry: Sharine Leung