Our Lady, for she was ours,
And had run on the little hills behind the houses
And pulled small flowers;
But she rose up and went into a strange country
With strange thrones and powers.
And there were giants in the land she walked in,
Tall as their toppling towns,
With heads so high in heaven, the constellations
Served them for crowns;
And their feet might have forded like a brook the abysses
Where Babel drowns.
They were girt about with the wings of morning and evening,
Furled and unfurled,
Round the speckled sky where our small spinning planet
Like a top is twirled;
And the swords they waved were the unending comets
That shall end the world.
And moving in innocence and in accident,
She turned the face
That none has ever looked on without loving
On the Lords of Space;
And one hailed her with her name in our own country
That is full of grace.
Our Lady went into a strange country
And they crowned her queen,
For she needed never to be stayed or questioned
But only seen;
And they were broken down under unbearable beauty
As we have been.
But ever she walked till away in the last high places,
One great light shone
From the pillared throne of the king of all the country
Who sat thereon;
And she cried aloud as she cried under the gibbet
For she saw her son.
Our Lady wears a crown in a strange country,
The crown he gave,
But she has not forgotten to call to her old companions
To call and crave;
And to hear her calling a man might arise and thunder
On the doors of the grave.
Artwork: The Madonna between St. John the Baptist and St. Sebastian' [detail], by Pietro Perugino (c 1445-1523), Italian painter, draftsman & illuminator, teacher of Raphael. Oil on panel, 1493, Galleria degli Uffizi (Florence, Italy).