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(To a young Sister named Mary Magdalen, for her Pro­fession day.)

On this glad day, dear Magdalene,

We come to sing with praises due

The wonderful, strong, gentle chain

That binds your heavenly Spouse and you.

Oh, hear us tell the charming story

Of how a shepherdess once heard

A Monarch bid her share His glory,

And how she answered to his word.

The shepherdess sing,

Whom the Heavenly King

With glory-crowned head

Doth here, this day, at Carmel, wed!

This shepherdess, so small, so poor,

While spinning, kept her flocks with care.

She loved the flowers beside her door,

The birds that fluttered here and there;

She knew what tongue the river spake,

The verdant woods, the skies above;

She loved them for her Master’s sake,

As tokens of His boundless love.

But oh! she loved most tenderly

Jesus and Mary. All her heart

She gave, and they loved Melanie,

And came to speak with her apart.

“Will you,” to her the sweet Queen said,

“Near me, on Carmel, come to dwell?

Will you be Magdalene, instead

Of Melanie, and serve God well?

“Child, quit your flock, seek God alone,

Nor mourn the lambs you ne’er shall see!

Upon this mountain all my own,

Jesus your only Lamb shall be.”

“Oh, come! thy soul has charmed My sight,”

Spake Jesus, “Come, be thou My bride!

Who gave to God all earth’s delight!

Come, reign forever at My side!”

Gladly the humble shepherdess

Responded to that gentle call;

And following Mary, swift to bless,

She came to Carmel’s lofty wall.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *   *  *  *  *  

‘Tis you, O little Magdalene!

We feast with, on this joyous day!

The shepherdess is now a Queen,

Near Christ, her Spouse and King alway.

O! cherished Sister, you know well

To serve our God, it is to reign!

Our Jesus did not cease to tell

This lesson through His life of pain;

“Among the great, on heaven’s height,

Who would stand first eternally

Must choose on earth the lowest place,

To hide from sight — the least to be.”

Happy are you, O Magdalene!

In your fixed lot in Carmel’s home,

Can there, for you, be any pain

Who here so close to heaven come?

Both Martha’s, Mary’s is your part —

To pray, to wait upon the Lord —

To love Him here with all your heart,

And have Him for your great reward.

Yet if, sometimes, sharp suffering

Shall come to flood your soul with night,

From out your pain will gladness spring

For God you suffer. What delight!

His tenderness, divine and sweet,

Shall make you very soon forget

The thorns that lie beneath your feet,

The tears with which your eyes were wet.

The angels envy you to-day!

They fain would taste your joy, Marie!

Your ecstasy, divinely gay —

The spouse of Jesus Christ to be.

Soon, soon among the angel bands,

Among the Virtues, Thrones and Powers,

Your Spouse and King in heaven’s bright lands

You, too, shall praise through endless hours.

This shepherdess soon,

So poor ‘neath the moon,

In heaven a queen,

Beside her King shall yet be seen.


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