A Sonnet on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

The Heart of Mary, by Sheldon Vanauken (1914-1996).

Dear sister, I was not divine,
The angel left me woman as before,
And when, like flame beneath my heart, I bore
The Son, I was vestal and the shrine.

My arms held Heaven at my breast—not wine
But milk made blood, in which no mothering doubt
Prefigured patterns of the pouring out,
O Lamb! to stain the world incarnadine.

The Magi saw a crown that lay ahead,
But not the bitter glory of the reign;
They called him King and knelt among the kine.
I pondered in my heart what they said,
Yet could not see the bloody cup of pain.
I was but woman—though my God was mine.

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