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CCLXXXI

B. V. M.

Ave Maria! blesséd Maid!

Lily of Eden's fragrant shade,

Who can express the love

That nurtured thee so pure and sweet,

Making thy heart a shelter meet

For JESUS' holy Dove?

Ave Maria! Mother blest,

To whom, caressing and caress'd,

Clings the Eternal Child;

Favour'd beyond Archangels' dream,

When first on thee with tenderest gleam

Thy new-born Saviour smiled:--

Ave Maria! thou whose name

All but adoring love may claim,

Yet may we reach thy shrine;

For He, thy Son and Saviour, vows

To crown all lowly lofty brows

With love and joy like thine.

Bless'd is the womb that bare Him--bless'd

The bosom where His lips were press'd;

But rather bless'd are they

Who hear His word and keep it well,

The living homes where CHRIST shall dwell,

And never pass away.

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