For A Virgin And Child By Hans Memmelinck – Dante Gabriel Rossetti

(In the Academy of Bruges) 

MYSTERY: God, man’s life, born into man 

Of woman. There abideth on her brow 

The ended pang of knowledge, the which now 

Is calm assured. Since first her task began 

She hath known all. What more of anguish than 

Endurance oft hath lived through, the whole space 

Through night till day, passed weak upon her face 

While the heard lapse of darkness slowly ran? 

All hath been told her touching her dear Son, 

And all shall be accomplished. Where He sits 

Even now, a babe, He holds the symbol fruit 

Perfect and chosen. Until God permits, 

His soul’s elect still have the absolute 

Harsh nether darkness, and make painful moan.