Hic est in periculo. Amen.
Gabriel, sent from heaven to carry,
As Christ's faithful emissary,
Greetings to the Blessed Mary,
Sacred words with her rehearsed:
Good and sweet the word he taketh,
As he in her chamber speaketh,
And of "Eva" "Ave" maketh,
Having Eve's name thus reversed.
Comfort gives he, fear dispelling,
By the Holy Ghost's in-dwelling,
Thee the Highest's shadow veiling,
"Thou," saith he, "shalt bear the Lord!"
"Be it so," by her was spoken,
"To His handmaid by this token;
"Let my virgin seal unbroken
"Be, according to thy word!"
As that promise thus declareth,
The incarnate Word appeareth:
But the virgin ever shareth
Still intact virginity.
Such a birth no mother showeth;
She, whom mortal man ne'er knoweth,
Pain nor labour undergoeth,
When she bears her progeny.
Of a wonder new thou hearest:
Have but faith, 'twill then be clearest:
This shoe's latchet, if thou nearest,
Thou art powerless to untie.
Great the lesson is, none higher!
In the bush and in the fire;
With feet shod let none draw nigher.
Lest he come unworthily.
The dry rod, without a shower,
In new manner, through new power,
Fruit produced as well as flower:
So a maid hath borne a son!
Blessed be that fruit for ever,
Fruit of joy, of sorrow never!
Had he tasted its sweet savour,
Adam ne'er had been undone.
Jesus, gentle as none other.
Holy son of holy mother,
King of heaven, is, as our brother,
To a manger-cradle brought.
May He, thus for our salvation
Born, effect our guilt's purgation,
Seeing that our occupation
Of this earth with risk is fraught. Amen.