Robert Henryson

The Annunciation

Forcy as deith is likand lufe,
Throuch quhome al bittir suet is;
No thing is hard, as writ can pruf,
Till him in lufe that letis;
Luf us fra barret betis.
Quhen fra the hevinly sete abufe
In message Gabriell couth muf,
And with myld Mary metis,
And said, "God wele the gretis;
In the He will tak rest and rufe,
But hurt of syne or yit reprufe;
In Him sett thi decret is."
This message mervale gert that myld,
And silence held but soundis,
As weill aferit a maid infild.
The angell it expoundis,
How that hir wame but woundis
Consave it suld, fra syne exild;
And quhen this carpin wes compilit,
Brichtnes fra bufe aboundis.
Thane fell that gay to groundis,
Of Goddis grace na thing begild;
Wox in hir chaumer chaist with child,
With Crist our kyng that cround is.
Thir tithingis tauld, the messinger
Till hevin agane he glidis;
That princes pure withoutyn peir
Full plesandly applid is,
And blith with barne abidis.
O worthy wirschip singuler,
To be moder and madyn meir,
As Cristin faith confidis;
That borne was of hir sidis
Our makar, Goddis sone so deir,
Quhilk erd, wattir, and hevinnis cleir
Throw grace and virtu gidis.
The miraclis ar mekle and meit
Fra luffis ryver rynnis;
The low of luf haldand the hete
Unbrynt full blithlie birnis;
Quhen Gabriell beginnis
With mouth that gudely may to grete,
The wand of Aarone, dry but wete,
To burioun nocht blynnis;
The flesch all donk within is,
Upon the erd na drop couth fleit;
Sa was that may maid moder suete
And sakeles of all synnis.
Hir mervalus haill madinhede
God in hir bosum bracis,
And Hir divinité fra dreid
Hir kepit in all casis.
The hie God of His gracis
Him self dispisit, us to speid,
And dowtit nocht to dee on deid;
He panit for our peacis,
And with His blude us bacis,
Bot quhen He ras up, as we rede,
The cherité of His Godhede
Was plane in every placis.
O lady lele and lusumest,
Thy face moist fair and schene is;
O blosum blith and bowsumest,
Fra carnale cryme that clene is;
This prayer fra my splene is,
That all my werkis wikkitest
Thow put away and mak me chaist
Fra Termigant that teyn is,
And fra his cluke that kene is,
And syne till hevin my saule thou haist,
Quhair thi makar, of michtis mast,
Is kyng, and thow thair quene is.

English Poetry - E-mail