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Poem by Madison Julius Cawein

Mater Dolorosa

The nuns sing, "ora pro nobis,"
 The lancets glitter above;
And the beautiful Virgin whose robe is
 Woven of infinite love,
Infinite love and sorrow,
 Prays for them there on high;
Who has most need of her prayers, to-morrow
 Shall tell them, they or I?

Up in the hills together
 We loved, where the world seemed true;
Our world of the whin and heather,
 Our skies of a nearer blue,
A blue from which one borrows
 A faith that helps one die
O Mother, sweet Mother of Sorrows,
 None needs such more than I!

We lived, we loved unwedded
 Love's sin and its shame that slays!
No ill of the year we dreaded,
 No day of its coming days;
Its coming days, their many
 Trials by morn and night,
And I know no land, not any,
 Where love's lilies grow so white!

Was he false to me, my Mother!
 Or I to him, my God!
Who gave thee right, O brother!
 To take God's right and rod!
God's rod of avenging morrows,
 And the life here in my side!
O Mother, God's Mother of Sorrows,
 For both I would have died!

By the wall of the Chantry kneeling,
 I pray and the organ rings,
"Gloria! gloria!" pealing,
 "Sancta Maria" sings!
They will find us dead to-morrow
 By the wall of their nunnery,
O Mother, sweet Mother of Sorrow!
 His unborn babe and me.

Madison Julius Cawein

Madison Julius Cawein's other poems:
  1. Here Is the Place Where Loveliness Keeps House
  2. The Dance of Summer
  3. Dream Road
  4. Night and Rain
  5. The Sleeper

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Algernon Swinburne Mater Dolorosa ("Who is this that sits by the way, by the wild wayside")
  • William Barnes Mater Dolorosa ("I'D a dream to-night")

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