Picture By Giov. Bellini, In The Church Of The Redentore At Venice

Who am I, to be so far exalted
Over all the maidens of Judaea,
That here only in this lonely bosom
Is the wonder--work of God revealèd?
Oh! to think this little, little infant,
Whose warm limbs upon my knees are resting,
Helpless, silent, with his tender eyelids,
Like two pearl--shells, delicately closèd,
Is informed with that eternal spirit,
Who, between the Cherubim enthronèd,
Dwells behind the Curtain of the Temple!
I can only gaze on him adoring,
Fearful lest the simple joy and passion
Which my mother--love awakes within me,
Be not something bold and too familiar
For this Child of Miracle and Glory.

We and the little cheerful goldfinch,
Perched above that blessèd seat,--
He above and we below,--
We with voices and sweet viols,
He with chirping voice alone,--
Glorify the happy Mother,
Glorify the holy Child.
Now that our great heavenly Master
Has put on this wondrous semblance
Of a humble mortal infant,
We, the Angels of his presence,
Are become as simple children,
And beside him watch, admiring
All his innocence and beauty,
Lulling him to downy slumbers
With remembrances of Heaven.

I seem to be asleep,--I seem to dream,--
But it is Ye, Children of fallen Man,
Who dream, not I. Though I am now come down,
Out of the Waking of Eternal Truth,
Here born into the miserable Dream
Of your poor Life, still I must ever wake,
For I am Love, and if ye follow me,
Ye too will wake;--I come to lead the way.

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