Invocation to Mary -

O Lord, our Lord, how wondrously (quoth she)
Thy name in this large world is spread abroad;
For not alone by men of dignity
Thy worship is performed and precious laud;
But by the mouths of children, gracious God,
Thy goodness is set forth; they, when they lie
Upon the breast, thy name do glorify.

Wherefore in praise, the worthiest that I may,
Jesu, of thee and the white Lily-flower
Which did thee bear, and is a Maid for aye,
To tell a story I will use my power;
Not that I may increase her honour's dower,
For she herself is Honour, and the Root
Of goodness, next her Son, our soul's best boot.

O Mother-Maid, O Maid and Mother free,
O Bush unburnt, burning in Moses' sight,
That down didst ravish from the Deity,
Through humbleness, the Spirit that did alight
Upon thy heart, whence through that glory's might
Conceived was the Father's Sapience —
Help me to tell it in thy reverence.

Lady, thy goodness, thy magnificence,
Thy virtue and thy great humility,
Surpass all science and all utterance;
For sometimes, Lady, ere men pray to thee,
Thou goest before in thy benignity,
The light to us vouchsafing of thy prayer,
To be our guide unto thy Son so dear.

My knowledge is so weak, O blissful Queen,
To tell abroad thy mighty worthiness,
That I the weight of it may not sustain;
But as a child of twelve months old, or less,
That laboureth his language to express,
Even so fare I; and therefore I thee pray,
Guide thou my song which I of thee shall say.
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