The Madonna's Lullaby
Mary sings, the ravished heavens
Hush the music of their spheres;
Soft her voice, her beauty fairer
Than the glancing stars appears;
While to Jesus, slumbering nigh,
Thus she sings her lullaby:
"Sleep, my Babe, my God, my Treasure,
Gently sleep; but ah! the sight
With its beauty so transports me,
I am dying with delight;
Thou canst not Thy mother see,
Yet Thou breathest flames to me.
"If within your lids unfolded,
Slumbering eyes, Thou seemest so fair;
When upon my gaze Thou doth open,
How shall I Thy beauty bear?
Ah! I tremble when Thou wakes,
Lest my heart with love should break.
Cheeks than sweetest roses sweeter,
Mouth where lurks a smile Divine,
Though the kiss my Babe should waken,
I must press those lips to mine.
Pardon, Dearest, if I say
Mother's love will take no nay."
As she ceased, the gentle Virgin
Clasped the Infant to her breast,
And, upon His radiant forehead
Many a loving kiss impressed.
Jesus woke and on her face
Fixed a look of heavenly grace.
Ah! that look, those eyes, that beauty,
How they pierce the Mother's heart!
Shafts of love from every feature
Through her gentle bosom dart.
Heart of stone! can I behold
Mary's love, and still be cold?
Where, my soul, thy sense, thy reason?
When will these delays be o'er?
All things else, how fair so ever,
Are but smoke: resist no more!
Yes! 'tis done! I yield my arms
Captive to those double charms.
If, alas, O heavenly beauty!
Now so late those charms I learn,
Now at least, and ever, ever
With thy love my heart will burn,
For the Mother and the Child,
Rose and Lily undefiled.
Plant and fruit, and fruit and blossom,
I am theirs, and they are mine;
For no other prize I labor,
For no other bliss I pine.
Love can every pain requite,
Love alone is full delight.
St. Alphonsus Liguori