Twenty long centuries back through Earth’s story,
Broken man heard gracious words from her Son,
“I came to lead up the fallen to glory,
Seeking the lost, lest sin bring them undone.”
So she, one century past, came descending
Out from the splendor and peace near His throne,
Down ‘mid the ugliness and hate unending
That men were reaping, as first they had sown.
She came, our Mother! all mercy and brightness,
Strong seaside beacon, all blazing with grace,
Seeing in tattered souls the divine likeness
Hurtling through lonely chasms of space.
Through humble messengers she gave her warning:
“Turn now from sins, lest they tear you apart!
Answer my Son with your love, not with scorning;
Come and learn virtue from your Mother’s heart.”
Her chosen seers, they saw her heart bleeding;
With Heaven’s sight she saw all, maybe wept,
For she beheld many loved children speeding
Through empty lives, faith and pledges unkept;
Swarms of the suffering, deep rivers running
Thick with the flow of their blood and their tears;
Cold, careless souls all the agony shunning;
Stony eyes seeing naught but what appears.
Yet in her breast her Son’s own heart beat truly,
His will, His love, were hers, burning to bless;
Dear Mother, gathering her children newly,
Clement Queen, pouring forth Heaven’s largesse!
By words and wisdom, by her Spouse the Spirit,
By lights on high and the sun’s changing face,
She made that field, for all who drew near it,
Even in thought, a great wellspring of grace.
Come, tortured hearts! fly in hope to your Mother,
Come, doubting souls, hail your most gracious Queen;
No foul grime-clouds can once hope to smother
The Heaven-star now at Fatima seen!
Once with the sun’s mighty flame she dried sweetly
Thousands who gathered in tempest and rain;
Now souls, with pain or crime sodden completely,
In her Son’s flaming love she warms again!
Through this past century, blackest and bleakest
Of any age that has known foolish man,
How many heard, when their spirits grew weakest,
Her gentle call, “Rise, come home–you still can!”
How many came to that high-favored field,
Seeking their share in the grace that she brought,
And found their mustard-seed faith, sown there, yield
Harvest of joy beyond all hope or thought!