Blessed with a joy that only she Of all alive shall ever know, She wears a proud humility For what it was that willed it so - That her degree should be so great Among the favoured of the Lord That she may scarcely bear the weight Of her bewildering reward.
As one apart, immune, alone, Or featured for the shining ones, And like to none that she has known Of other women's other sons - The firm fruition of her need, He shines anointed; and he blurs Her vision, till it seems indeed A sacrilege to call him hers.
She fears a little for so much Of what is best, and hardly dares To think of him as one to touch With aches, indignities, and cares; She sees him rather at the goal, Still shining; and her dream foretells The proper shining of a soul Where nothing ordinary dwells.
Perchance a canvass of the town Would find him far from flags and shouts, And leave him only the renown Of many smiles and many doubts; Perchance the crude and common tongue Would havoc strangely with his worth; But she, with innocence unwrung, Would read his name around the earth.
And others, knowing how this youth Would shine, if love could make him great, When caught and tortured for the truth Would only writhe and hesitate; While she, arranging for his days What centuries could not fulfil, Transmutes him with her faith and praise, And has him shining where she will.
She crowns him with her gratefulness, And says again that life is good; And should the gift of God be less In him than in her motherhood, His fame, though vague, will not be small As upward through her dream he fares, Half clouded with a crimson fall Of roses thrown on marble stairs.