Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AT THE SHRINE OF MARY, by FENTON JOHNSON



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AT THE SHRINE OF MARY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Mary mother, we are twining flowers
Last Line: "those are flowers our hearts have long enshrined."
Subject(s): Mary. Mother Of Jesus; Women In The Bible; Virgin Mary


"Mary Mother, we are twining flowers,
Flowers gleaned from the meadows, pure with love,
That thy golden head may wear a crown
Whiter than the bosom of a dove",
Children mine, entwine no flowers for me;
In the Kingdom gleams a thousand flowers,
Richer than the fairest blooms of earth,
Purer than a maiden's sacred hours.

Give instead the treasures of thy heart,
Give instead a garland of thy deeds,
Shower thy mercies on the lowly folk,
Who must ever dwell among the weeds;
London beggars cry, and Ireland starves,
Naked Hindustan is pinched for food,
Give them, my children, give to them;
God conceived them, they are Mary's brood.

Give the poor oppressed the burning lamp
Liberty hath held for ages long,
Give my sisters weapon for their wrongs
That the latter days may glow with song;
Let the bleeding sons of Ethiop,
Let my kinsmen, seed of Israel,
Hear no more the word of hate and scorn,
Feel no more the fire of living Hell.

"Mary Mother, we are twining flowers,
Flowers gleaned from the meadows pure with love,
That thy golden head may wear a crown
Whiter than the bosom of a dove;
Love the petal, Love the calyx too,
Love of man and love of womankind,
Betterment for all who walk in pain --
Those are flowers our hearts have long enshrined."






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