The Virgin and the Tempest
Blogger’s Note: A close friend’s home was struck hard by the storm last Sunday morning—in all the wreck and ruin, Mary stood untouched, unfazed. Regina pacis, ora pro nobis!
At dawn she stood upon the hill and pondered things unseen;
The lake agleam with silver sun, the grass a rippling green.
A girl, she seemed, of field and fen, of flock and fish and sheaves;
Her crown, the dappled sunlight filtered through the flutt’ring leaves.
Her simple shift immaculate as she, herself unstained,
Enjoyed Creation’s morning-song—but in the west it rained.
Such peaceful virgin beauty could the Tempest not abide:
He spied her from afar and surged, a league to every stride.
He stormed and splashed and shivered homes; his thund’ring voice was heard—
With roar and flash and flood he sought to drown God’s holy Word.
In that unearthly twilight knelt the faithful ’round the stone,
And she, exposed and downcast, stood upon the hill alone.
He strode ashore in bloody rage, devouring as he came,
But naught would slake his appetite except the Virgin’s shame.
He cursed her with his forkéd tongue and lashed her with his tail;
He frothed and foamed and spewed his bile, he struck with tooth and nail.
The trees he snapped like kindling with the fury of his wings;
They came down crashing roundabout—but she began to sing.
Her hands were open to receive, her eyes closed in repose,
And all his filth and flotsam could not even foul her clothes.
She sang a canticle of joy, of gratitude and grace,
And deadfalls burst asunder at the radiance of her face.
A lullaby she sang to soothe the Child within her womb,
And at His Name, the Tempest turned and fled into the gloom.
The wood lays wasted at her feet; the grass, strewn with debris;
A splintered path of ruin marks the path on which he flees.
So stands she still upon the hill, our shelter from the storm—
Our Lady, Queen of Peace, protecting all she loves from harm.
Not David’s solitary stone nor Sparta’s gory stand
Struck such a blow as she, although she never raised a hand!