Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mother of God

by W.B. Yeats

The threefold terro.r of love; a fallen flare
Through the hollow of an ear;
Wings beating about the room;
The terro.r of all that I bore
The Heavens in my womb.

Had I not found content among the shows
Every common woman knows,
Chimney corner, garden walk,
Or rocky cistern where we tread the clothes
And gather all the talk?

What is this flesh I purchased with my pains,
This fallen star my milk sustains,
This love that makes my heart's bloo.d stop
Or strikes a sudden chill into my bones
And bids my hair stand up?

* * *

Who knew Yeats could write poems about Mary? On the one hand, it's not how most of us think of her: we mostly picture her calm and sedate, not afraid, and not chatting as she does her laundry. But on the other, wasn't she more like us than unlike, even though she had no sin? St. Luke tells us she was troubled at the angel's greeting.

Our Lady was said to have conceived through the ear, because it was her ear that heard the greeting of the angel. I'm not sure what the "threefold of love" is: probably the love of the the Father for His daughter, the Son for His mother, and the Holy Ghost for His spouse.

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