Her Glorious Assumption


There was silence in heaven, as if for half an hour-
Isaiah's coals of wonder sealed the lips
Of Seraph, Principality and Power,
Of all the nine angelic fellowships.

The archangels, those sheer intelligences,
Were silent, with their eyes on heaven's door.
So must our fancy dower them with senses,
Make them incarnate in a metaphor.

There was silence in heaven as Mary entered in,
For even Gabriel had not foreseen
The glory of a soul immune from sin
Throned in the body of the angels' Queen.

Blessed be God and Mary in whose womb
Was woven God's incredible disguise.
She gave Our Lord His Body. In the tomb
He gave her hers again and bade her rise.

Bright from death's slumber she arose, the flush
Of a chaste joy illumining her cheeks;
Among the motherless in heaven there was a hush
To hear the way a mother laughs and speaks.

Eye had not seen, nor ear of angel heard,
Nor heart conceived - until Our Lady's death -
What God for those that love Him had prepared
When heaven's synonym was Nazareth!

Her beauty opened slowly like a flower,
Beauty to them eternally bequeathed.
There was silence in heaven; as if for half an hour
No angel breathed.

Alfred Barrett (1906-1985)