ON A PICTURE OF THE VIRGIN.
If the young mother clasp, for the first time,
The mortal child that earthly love has given,
With a deep joy preluding that of heaven;
Who shall describe thy ecstacy sublime,
Oh Virgin mother! when upon thy ear
The message of the announcing angel fell,
In heavenly tones to calm thy rising fear,
And thy approaching glory to fortell.
Was ever mother so divinely blest,
As when, the glow of Heaven yet clinging round him,
Before the weight of human grief had bound him,
The gentle Christ-child to thy heart was prest?
Oh, blessed among women! joy like thine
What hand shall dare describe! alas, not mine.