The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Ave Maria! Blessed Maid!

Purification of St. Mary the Virgin

Words: John Keble (1972-1866), 1827

For Mary, The Mother of Jesus

Source: George Radcliffe Woodward, ed, Songs of Syon (London: Schott & Co., Third Edition, 1908), # 216

1. Ave Maria! blessed Maid!
Lily of Eden’s fragrant shade!
Who can express the love
That nurtured thee, so pure and sweet,
Making thy heart a shelter meet
For Jesus’ holy Dove!

2. Ave Maria! Mother blest,
To whom, caressing and caress’d,
Clings the eternal Child;
Favour’d beyond Archangels’ dream,
When first on thee with tenderest gleam
The new-born Saviour smiled.

3. Thou wept’st, meek Maiden, Mother mild,
Thou wept’st upon thy sinless Child,
Thy very heart was riven:
And yet, what mourning matron here
Would deem thy sorrows bought too dear
By all on this side heaven?

4. A Son that never did amiss,
That never shamed his Mother’s kiss,
Nor cross’d her fondest prayer:
E’en from the Tree he deign’d to bow
For her his agonized brow,
Her, his sole earthly care.

5. Ave Maria! thou whose name
All but adoring love may claim,
Yet may we reach thy shrine;
For he, thy Son and Saviour, vows
To crown all lowly lofty brows
With love and joy like thine.

Sheet Music from Arthur Henry Brown, ed., The Altar Hymnal. London: Griffith, Farrar, Okeden & Welsh, 1885, #77, pp. 252-253.

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