Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Ballade To Our Lady Of Czestochowa



Lady and Queen and Mystery manifold 
And very Regent of the untroubled sky, 
Whom in a dream St. Hilda did behold 
And heard a woodland music passing by: 
You shall receive me when the clouds are high 
With evening and the sheep attain the fold. 
This is the faith that I have held and hold, 
And this is that in which I mean to die. 

II 

Steep are the seas and savaging and cold 
In broken waters terrible to try; 
And vast against the winter night the wold, 
And harbourless for any sail to lie. 
But you shall lead me to the lights, and I 
Shall hymn you in a harbour story told. 
This is the faith that I have held and hold, 
And this is that in which I mean to die. 

III 

Help of the half-defeated, House of gold, 
Shrine of the Sword, and Tower of Ivory; 
Splendour apart, supreme and aureoled, 
The Battler's vision and the World's reply. 
You shall restore me, O my last Ally, 
To vengence and the glories of the bold. 
This is the faith that I have held and hold, 
And this is that in which I mean to die. 

Envoi 

Prince of the degradations, bought and sold, 
These verses, written in your crumbling sty, 
Proclaim the faith that I have held and hold 
And publish that in which I mean to die.

~Hilaire Belloc

The Black Madonna of Częstochowa, Poland. (Original painting)

See also, The Black Madonna of Czestochowa, a commentary by Zsolt Aradi.

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