The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

"Ave Maria, Gracia Plena!"

Words: Ave Maria, gracia plena, from Speier Gesangbuch, 1615
Translation by Rev. George R. Woodward

Source: George Radcliffe Woodward, ed, Songs of Syon (London: Schott & Co., Third Edition, 1908), #247

1. "Ave Maria, gracia plena!”
So spake the Archangel to Mary the Maiden,
What time in prayer adown she knelt.

2. “Thou shalt conceive and bear in due season:
Thy Babe man and Angel shall bless with good reason,
And hail thee Mother of thy God.”

3. “Good my lord Angel, O for a token!
How may the thing happen whereof thou hast spoken?
Because that I know not a man.”

4. “Power from on high shall o’ershadow thee, Mary;
Like dew breathing life on the flower of the prairie,
So shalt thou bear the heav’nly Child.”

5. “After thy word, so be it,” quoth Mary;
“The purpose eternal of God cannot vary;
Behold the handmaid of the Lord.”

6. Glory and honour, worship, and giving
Of thanks be to God, the most High, ever-living,
That shew’d mankind such ample grace.

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