Catholic Distance University

Fragments, for Mary

I. What woman could bind
Death’s bane to flesh,
What mother dare
Her God to mortal;
What womb would bear
That mortal fare?

II. The purging flame
Burns in the bush–
The fertile virgin
Child-bearing,
In consummation
Unconsuming.

III. This wife was wed
As the word of heaven
Welded with man,
Dwelt in lands
Labored by mortals
With mortal hands.

IV. This creature of dust,
Crafted with care,
Delivered him
To creation:
Delivered him
To die for all.

V. Not for the proud,
Not for the perfect
His wrists were bound
For bondage-breaking,
But for the world
And its remaking.

VI. For all the rough
And wild rivers,
For raging seas
And desperate rowing,
His blood and water
Fiercely flowing.

VII. What walls conceived
Could hold this son,
Be they of thought
Or flesh or stone,
When he is broken
And breaks no bone?

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