In Dauides dyrre maegan

O joy of women in the host of heaven!  Winsomest maid through all the borders of the world, of whom the ocean dwellers ever have heard story!  Reveal to us that wonder which came upon thee from on high, how thou in childbirth didst conceive, yet knewest naught of human love after man’s kind.  Truly, we have never heard that such a thing befell in days of old as unto thee was granted in wondrous grace; neither may we look for it to happen in any time to come.  Verily, fair faith abode in thee, for that thou barest in thy bosom the Prince of glory, yet was thy radiant maidhood no wit stained.  As all the children of men sow in sorrow, so again they reap; they bring forth unto death.  The blessed damsel spake, holy Mary, rich in triumph:

“What is this wondering wherewith ye wonder, and this sorrowing that ye mourn with sorrow, Salem’s daughters and sons?  Eagerly ye ask how I did keep my chastity, my maidhood, and yet became the mother of the glorious Son of God.  To men that wonder is not known, but in David’s beloved kinsmaid Christ made known that all the sin of Eve is done away, the curse cast out, the lowlier sex lifted up.  Now hope is come that both for man and maid amid celestial joy of angels, with the Father of truth, bliss may abide forever.”


…Now is fulfilled which there the man of wisdom with eye beheld.  Thou art that wall-door; through thee the all-ruling Lord once journeyed out to earth; and even so, adorned with power, pure and chosen, Christ the Almighty found thee; even so the Prince of Angels, Lord of Life, locked thee after Him as with a key, all undefiled…We city dwellers pray that thou show forth thy Son, a comfort to the peoples.  Henceforward may we all have hope, since now we see the Babe upon thy breast…

Lo!  How wondrous change is wrought in the life of men, since the mild Creator of mankind received from mortal maid flesh undefiled; neither knew she any whit the love of man, nor by the seed of man came the Lord of triumph upon earth.  But more of craft was that than all the dwellers of  earth might comprehend, how wondrously the Glory of the skies, High Lord of heaven, through His mother’s womb wrought help to men.  And so the Saviour of the nations, the Lord of hosts, dealeth out each day in succor unto man forever His forgiveness. 

Cynewulf, Christ (I) (Exeter Book)


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